After winning an Open era record 23rd major title at the Australian Open, Serena Williams looks to create more history next month at the BNP Paribas Open, where she’ll try to become the first woman to win in Indian Wells three times.
The last few years – it seems – everything Serena Williams does is historic. There was her 23rd major win last week at the Australian Open – an Open era record. There was her drive for the calendar Grand Slam in 2015, and also her comeback that year to the BNP Paribas Open.
World No. 1 once again, Williams seeks to create more history in her third consecutive appearance in Indian Wells having made the semifinals and finals in her previous two outings in the desert. Should she win, she’ll be the first WTA singles champion three times over at the BNP Paribas Open.
It was in 1999 that Williams won just her second career title of any kind in Indian Wells, beating Steffi Graf in a not-to-be forgotten final just months before she’d win her maiden major at the U.S. Open. She was champion again in 2001, and her last two years have seen her come close but not quite able to capture the trophy. In 2015 she reached the semifinals before before a knee injury took her out, and last year she made a heralded run to the final, losing a hard-fought title bout against Victoria Azarenka.
She created one of the most viral moments of the tennis season as she strode off court, however, sticking her tongue out playfully behind a trophy-toting Azarenka. She’ll return with the same upbeat spirit in 2017 – and yearn to breakaway from a list that includes Graf, Martina Navratilova, Mary Joe Fernandez, Lindsay Davenport, Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka and Daniela Hantuchova as two-time winners.
If anyone has made a habit of setting herself apart from the crowd, however, it’s Serena.
And will you be part of the crowd that witnesses her going for history? It’ll all be inside a revamped Stadium 1 with new world-class dining options and a whole host of upgraded amenities. Though the tennis – and Serena – remain the main event.