PARIS — Serena Williams has had a Hall of Fame-worthy career, no doubt: She’s a 21-time major champion, has 70 singles titles to her name and is perhaps the best women’s tennis player of all time.
But Saturday something rare happened: She lost in the final of a Grand Slam. Bested at French Open by No. 4 seed Garbiñe Muguruza, 7-5, 6-4, Williams lost for only the sixth time in 27 Grand Slam finals.
After losing the Australian Open final to Angelique Kerber in January, this marks the first time in Serena’s career that she’s lost back-to-back major finals. After a streak of eight major finals won in a row from 2012 to 2015, has Serena lost her air of invincibility?
Here’s a look at those six final losses in Williams’ Grand Slam career.
2016 French Open Final: Lost to Garbiñe Muguruza 7-5, 6-4
She and Muguruza had met the year prior at Wimbledon and the first-time finalist gave Williams quite the challenge in a 6-4, 6-4 contest. But Williams was below her peak this fortnight in Paris and the 22-year-old Spaniard took advantage, winning three games in a row to close out the first set and then breaking to start in the second, never looking back. For the third time in six major losses, Williams lost to a first-time champion.
2016 Australian Open final: Lost to Angelique Kerber 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
Kerber had been a top 10 resident for going on four years, but the lefty from Germany had just one prior win against Williams in six meetings. That didn’t seem to matter for Kerber, who came out swinging against the world No. 1. After Williams won the second set, the tide appeared to have turned, but Kerber wasn’t deterred, falling to the ground when a final volley soared long off Williams’ racket.
2011 U.S. Open Final: Lost to Sam Stosur 6-2, 6-3
The Australian had found her form as a singles force after years of being a doubles expert, but she was playing in her first major final. She swung for the fences and was connecting, her big serve and forehand driving Williams behind the baseline. Williams was offset by a hindrance call early in the second set, as well, berating the chair umpire on the subsequent change overs for making the call against her. “Do not look my way,” she told chair umpire Eva Asderaki.
2008 Wimbledon Final: Lost to Venus Williams 7-5, 6-4
This was Venus’ last major title of any kind, and it was the first time that the Williams sisters met at Wimbledon in five years. It marked the first win for Venus over her sister at Wimbledon since 2000, and is (to date) the last time she would beat Serena at any major. Serena was the stronger of the two out of the gates, taking a 3-1 lead in the first set, but Venus defended her title at Wimbledon.
2004 Wimbledon Final: Lost to Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-4
It was a startling display of power from Sharapova, who was just 17 when she blazed into the final against a 22-year-old Serena. The Russian teenager came out and simply overwhelmed Williams, the two having played just once before, Sharapova crushing Serena with her power off the ground. The teen collapsed to the ground when she captured the title as the No. 13 seed. It was what many thought would be the start of another great rivalry in women’s tennis, but Serena has lost just once in 18 meetings since.
2001 U.S. Open Final: Lost to Venus Williams 6-2, 6-4
The sister act! It was the first time the Williams sisters (then just 19 and 20 years old, respectively) would meet in a major final, and only one of two that Venus would win (out of eight total meetings in a Grand Slam championship match). The event was a TV occasion in the U.S., the first time the women’s final was played in prime time. Venus extended her record to 5-1 against her little sister, but Serena would win the next five Grand Slam finals they played over the next two years.
PHOTOS: FRENCH OPEN WOMEN'S FINAL