THROWBACK: Serena Williams defeats Henin to win first clay-court title
Boasting an imposing 73 career singles titles, Serena Williams is known for her prowess on hardcourts and grass. However, the 23-time Grand Slam champion has had surprising success on clay, lifting 13 WTA trophies on the red dirt.
Early in her career, the young American was being recognized as a force on the WTA tour, dominating on both grass and hardcourts. However, she was yet to win a title on clay, despite breaking into the Top 10 rankings in 1999.
Williams reached her first clay-court final at the 2002 German Open, losing to Justin Henin in a third-set tiebreak. However, the American avenged her loss a few weeks later, storming to the finals of the Italian Open as the fourth seed. She again faced Henin, this time upsetting the Belgian 7-6(6) 6-4 to win her first clay-court title.
This victory saw her rise to a career-high ranking of World No.3, after which she claimed her maiden Roland Garros title a few weeks later.