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   Saturday, 25 January, 2003, 12:12 GMT
Serena's slice of history
Serena Williams, Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova
Serena Williams is the latest dominating force
Only five players in the history of women's tennis have held all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously:

Serena Williams

After winning the 1999 US Open, the younger of the Williams sisters looked to have lost her way somewhat as Venus dominated the women's game in the following two years.

But in the past 12 months, Serena has fulfilled her potential in spectacular style.

By beating her sister Venus to capture the Australian Open title, Williams joined a select group of the game's legendary figures.

In putting together a 28-match Grand Slam winning streak, Williams has not only demonstrated awesome power and devastating serving but a fighting spirit unmatched by her rivals.

Serena is yet to clinch the much-coveted Grand Slam - holding all four titles in a calendar year - but still only 21, she could yet put her four fellow history-makers in the shade.

Steffi Graf

Like Williams now and Martina Navratilova before her, Graf set new standards in women's tennis during five years of domination.

Steffi Graf
Graf's forehand is one of the game's greatest shots

The German combined a vicious serve with a forehand that is still rated as one of the game's greatest shots.

In 1988, she began by easing to a straight sets win over Chris Evert in the Australian Open before demolishing a hapless Natasha Zvereva 6-0 6-0 at the French Open.

Navratilova gave Graf perhaps her hardest test at Wimbledon, but the world number one beat her American opponent for the first time at the All England Club to complete the hat-trick.

Graf went on to capture the Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows before achieving a unique "Golden Slam" by winning Olympic gold in Korea.

Martina Navratilova

By continuing to compete at the highest level in doubles, Navratilova is only underlining her natural talent and phenomenal athleticism.

In a singles career spanning 21 years, the Czech-born American won an astounding 18 Grand Slam titles along with 38 doubles crowns (and counting).

In 1984, Navratilova was handed a cheque for $1m when she lifted the French Open trophy, the last Grand Slam title to have eluded her.

Her achievement was all the more remarkable for the fact that she did not lose a set in all four finals and only dropped two sets in the entire run.

Margaret Court

Australian Open organisers reminded everyone of the achievements of Margaret Court when they renamed the second stadium at Melbourne Park in her honour.

Margaret Court
Court won 11 Australian Open titles

A powerful athlete, her attacking serve-volley game took to her to the Grand Slam in 1970.

However, Court's achievements were undermined by the unwillingness of many players to travel to Australia for the first Grand Slam of the year.

And of the Aussie's 24 Grand Slam titles, 11 came in her home country.

Maureen Connolly

The first ever player to win the Grand Slam, Connolly, or "Little Mo", is remembered as a relentless baseliner - not unlike Williams.

Aged 16, she won her first Grand Slam title in 1951 in New York and lost only four matches after that until her injury-enforced retirement three years later.

Connolly's Grand Slam came in 1953, a year in which she also captured the doubles titles in France and Australia.

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