Serena Williams captured her ninth Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open on Sunday, vaulting her to the number one seed in women’s tennis for the first time since 2003. Williams defeated Jelena Jankovic in straight sets (6-4, 7-5) and rejoiced by tossing her racket high in the air. In the polite world of tennis, it was a change in behavior that the crowd was delighted to see. Serena Williams lost to Venus in her last Grand Slam try at Wimbledon, a loss that set her on a path of determination to regain dominance on her preferred surface.
The Williams sisters have faced criticism for their lack of dedication to the sport and it has reflected in their rankings. At no time in history have 5-time Grand Slam champs slipped past the 100th place in the world, but the Williams sisters faced a severe backlash as stars like Maria Sharapova, Jelena Jankovic and Elena Dementieva improved their games. Anxious to reclaim their spots, Serena and Venus Williams went on a tear in 2007 of their own capturing Olympic gold in Beijing in Women’s Doubles. With Serena’s nine titles at Venus’s seven, the pair will likely go down in history as the best pair of sisters ever to play.