Over the past decade in women’s tennis, there have been memorable moments. The Women’s Game recapped some of the best moments from the last ten years.
At the start of the decade in 2011, China’s Li Na won her maiden Grand Slam singles title at Roland Garros over Italian Francesca Schiavone. The victory was a momentous occasion for Li Na in her professional tennis career, as she also became Asia’s first-ever Roland Garros Grand Slam singles winner.
The match was a major TV sporting event with 330 million viewers watching it globally. Then in January 2014, Li Na claimed her second Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open over Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova. The grand slam win made her the first-ever Asian singles champion of the Australian Open.
Czech Kvitova has claimed the Wimbledon singles title twice and also won the WTA Finals in 2011. Kvitova was shaken after a terrifying home invasion in 2016 that she survived and she suffered severe injuries, especially to her left playing hand.
In 2019, Kvitova made it through to the Australian Open but lost to Osaka. Even though Kvitova was runner up, this moment will go down as one of the best in the decade as it was an emotional and heartfelt performance by the Czech to make a grand slam after she survived a terrible home invasion two years prior.
It is a testament and credit to the true fighter and tough tennis player Kvitova is.
Kerber began her professional tennis career in 2003. She was unseeded ranked number 92 in the world and 23-years-old at the 2011 US Open, but that did not faze her as she reached the semifinals for the first time at a major tournament.
In the semifinal, Kerber went down to Australian and world number nine at the time Sam Stosur and winner of the US Open that year. It is from here that Kerber started to rise to the top as she had never made it past the third round of a grand slam.
To top it all off she caused massive upsets over Polish number 12 seed Agnieszka Radwanska and Italian number 26 seed Flavia Pennetta during the grand slam as well. Her best run at a tournament helped her to move up 60 world rank spots.
Kerber continued to rise up the world rankings and in 2013 she was the number four seed. At the 2016 Australian Open, Kerber went into the tournament ranked number seven and claimed some of the greatest wins of her career over the two-time champion and Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, as well as Johanna Konta from England to advance through to her first Grand Slam final up against world number one at the time Serena Williams.
Kerber played exceptionally well in the championship final winning in three sets to take out her first Grand Slam title. Her first major victory also meant she was the first German to win a Grand Slam since 1999 and at the end of the Australian Open she was the world number two seed.
In 2018, Romanian Halep finally won her first major title in Roland Garros, Paris after she came back from a set and break down to overcome American Sloane Stephens in three sets.
It was a special moment for the current world number two seed because she was genuinely filled with pure emotions in the way she completely enjoyed and embraced the maiden grand slam win of her career.
Williams secured a record 23rd major title at the Australian Open in 2017.
She now is the all-time major singles title record holder after she went past Steffi Graf in the Open Era major titles list in January 2017.
The win was over her sister Venus Williams in straight sets and to make the record win more special, her sister was there to give her a warm hug to celebrate the marvellous achievement.
Kenin made her debut on the WTA tour in 2018 as a teenager and at the age of 21 she claimed her first Grand Slam singles title victory at the Australian Open at the start of this year (2020).
It was a remarkable achievement for the American who had an unstoppable dream run defeating fellow rising American Coco Gauff, world number one and Australian Ashleigh Barty and two-time grand slam champion and Spaniard Garbine Muguruza.
Japanese player Osaka pulled off her maiden Grand Slam title victory over the best female tennis player in the Open Era, Serena Williams, at the 2018 US Open.
Osaka’s first Grand Slam win was not only a wonderful personal achievement, but also an achievement for Japanese tennis, as she became the first-ever Japanese player to win a major.
When Osaka arrived at Flushing Meadows in New York she was an up and comer, but at the end of the Grand Slam she had become a household tennis name. A year later in 2019, Osaka won her second major at the Australian Open.
Osaka joined rare company with Chinese woman Li Na after claiming her second Grand Slam win and becoming the second Asian player to have notched up two grand slam titles.
After the Australian Open, Osaka claimed the WTA world number one ranked player spot. It’s hard to believe that Osaka is only 22-years-old and already a global tennis superstar.
Young tennis star on the rise Andreescu made the perfect debut at the US Open in 2019. The Canadian gave it her all against the great Serena Williams in straight sets 6-3 and 7-5.
It was a remarkable run for the 19-year-old who also defeated Swiss and world number 13 Belinda Bencic, world number 25 and Belgian Elise Mertens and former world number one and Danish player Caroline Wozniacki.
Andreescu only dropped two sets for the whole tournament, which was truly superb as she was only 18-years-old at the time. In the next 10 years, we are in for a treat if these best moments over the past 10 years are anything to go by.
There is a lot to look forward to, especially with the change of guard in women’s tennis with Williams at the end of her career and the likes of Osaka, Andreescu and Kenin rising to the peaks of their powers.