A Timeline of Serena Williams’s Splits


If Serena Williams seems to go after shots that other players would let sail by, it’s because she knows she can get there. She hurtles herself toward the ball and makes contact, often extending into a split that’s at once powerful and graceful. Whether or not she wins the point, it makes for thrilling tennis. In her exhilarating U.S. Open quarterfinal match last night against sister Venus, she lunged for a backhand shot, slid into a split, and then quickly whipped her head around and popped back up.

She won the match 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, and advanced to the semi-finals, the next step in her quest to become the first person to win a calendar Grand Slam (that is, all four majors in the same year) since Steffi Graf in 1988.


Here is a look at Serena’s splits through history, from her days of beaded hair to her New York Fall Fashion Issue shoot with Norman Jean Roy.