A long, storied Open career
Serena Williams already holds the record for most years between winning her first and last title at the US Open, and after her 6-0, 6-1 first-round win over Francesca Schiavone on Monday, she’s still the favorite to pad her lead with another title this year. As a 17-year-old in 1999, Serena won the $750,000 first-place check after beating Martina Hingis in the final. As a 30-year-old in 2012, Serena won the $1.9 million winner’s check after beating Victoria Azarenka in the final. The 13-year-span between first and most recent titles (Serena also won in 2002 and 2008) puts her well ahead of the second-place player in the Open era, Steffi Graf, who won her first title in 1988 and the last of her five in 1996.