23-time Grand Slam Champion Serena Williams sat down with GQ after winning its Woman of the Year award, breaking down the matches that defined her career while husband Alexis Ohanian celebrates their one-year anniversary.
David Kane
November 16, 2018

On the heels of winning GQ Magazine's 2018 Woman of the Year, former World No.1 and 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams spoke at length about several matches that defined her career, starting with her first win over Monica Seles as a 16-year-old.

"I was incredibly young. I always really loved Monica. I wanted to play like her because she was my favorite player. Growing up, I wanted to be just like her, hit like her and play like her.

"Having the opportunity to play her, it was like, 'Ok, cool. I got this."

The three-set win in the fall of 1997 helped her make a Grand Slam main draw debut at the following year's Australian Open, where she upset then-World No.6 Irina Spirlea to book a first tour-level meeting with sister Venus.

"I'd played her before and knew her game. I don't remember being down a set, but I guess that was the beginning of the 'Serena Comebacks!'"

Serena notes the 1999 US Open, where she won her first major title, as the tournament that truly "kickstarted her career."

The American scored back-to-back wins over Seles and defending champion Lindsay Davenport before facing top seed Martina Hingis, who had beaten Venus the night before in a thrilling semifinal.

"I always said I was going to win a Grand Slam, and next thing I know, I'd won, beating the No.1 player in the world. Hingis was really dominating everyone at that time, so I was glad to get that one!"

As GQ salutes Serena, so too does husband Alexis Ohanian, who celebrated the couple's one-year wedding anniversary with a post on Instagram.

"365 days later. And still dancing," the Reddit co-founder writes, shouting out daughter Alexis Olympia. "Only now Jr joins in."

Check out the full GQ interview right here on wtatennis.com.