Serena Williams sets women’s record of 307 victories in grand slams
The dominance so commonly associated with Serena Williams was on full display on Saturday afternoon at Arthur Ashe Stadium as she cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 victory in exactly one hour against Sweden’s Johanna Larsson to book a place in the last 16 of the US Open.
That Williams is through to the second week at Flushing Meadows barely qualifies as news: the first and only time the American failed to make it past the first weekend was when she lost a third-round match to Irina Spirlea of Romania back in 1998, the first year she entered. But Saturday’s victory was informed with added meaning as it marked her 307th career victory in grand slam play, lifting her past Martina Navratilova for the most by a female player in the Open era – and moved her level with Roger Federer for most among men or women.
Now Williams moves into the business end of the tournament, where a fourth-round meeting awaits with the Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova, who saw off China’s Zhang Shuai earlier on Saturday. The next milestone in sight is perhaps the biggest of all: Steffi Graf’s professional-era mark for grand slam titles. She drew level by beating Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon. Now Williams can eclipse it with four more wins here, 12 months after leaving here disappointed in the semi-finals after missing out on a calendar grand slam.