Reasons for dating a tennis player

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That's an average of 1.4 Grand Slam titles per year for almost a decade and a half 2. (She won just a single Grand Slam title in her first four years: the 1999 U. Open.) Since 2002, she has won 20-of-47 tournaments she has entered. These are matches almost exclusively against her top rivals or streaking challengers.

Serena has competed in 61 Grand Slam singles tournaments since going pro.

But that particular missed opportunity is irrelevant to the question at hand, which is her legacy among American athletes.

She's one of the very best ever, up there with Michael Jordan, Jesse Owens, Muhammad Ali, Jack Nicklaus and Willie Mays. No one other than Serena has accomplished this feat since Steffi Graf in 1996.

She is winning 90 percent of her matches against the very best contemporary players. She's been an incredible doubles player, too: her and Venus Williams have paired up to win 13 Grand Slams (their first in 1999 and most recent in 2012) and three Olympic golds.

And Serena still has a winning record against her and double the amount of weeks at the top of the rankings. Serena's all-time record against the current members of the WTA top 10 is 66-7, or a 90 percent winning percentage.

She might be the best right now (it's her and Le Bron James for the honor) and there's a case that she's the best of all time (I'm personally partial to Jordan and Ali). (That's a women's singles record.) Her record in Grand Slam semifinals is 25-4.

As she embarks on (more) history in 2016, it's worth celebrating what makes her story so compelling and her legacy so amazing. In the past 14 calendar years, she has won at least one Grand Slam title in 11 of them and a total of 20. Her career Grand Slam match winning percentage is 88 percent (280-39). This includes her perfect Grand Slam seasons in 2002 (where she sat out the Aussie and won the other three Slams) and this year to date. Thus, she is 46-8 all-time in the semifinals or finals of Grand Slam singles tournaments.

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Serena also has two mixed doubles Grand Slams dating back to 1999.

“It’s something players cultivate to keep their edge,” Mary Joe Fernández, a former top-10 player who is now the captain of the American Fed Cup team, told Vogue.

Sharapova’s failing, it seems, is that she doesn’t know how to plaster on a fake smile.

“It’s hard to tell [the reaction from players] because Maria Sharapova has always isolated herself from the rest of the tennis world, from the players.

She doesn’t have a lot of close friendships on the tour.” As Sharapova told the Telegraph in 2013, “I’m not really close to many players.

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