Venus Williams is among the most successful female tennis players of all time, earning the second-most prize money across her illustrious career, trailing only her sister Serena Williams.
In addition to winning seven Grand Slams, the American has finished as the runner-up at three more Majors. En route to those achievements, Williams has had to defeat 83 seeded players, out of which 22 came in the first three rounds -- the second-most in WTA history.
The stat was brought to light yesterday by the US Open's official Instagram handle after Kaia Kanepi's shock win over 10th seed Garbine Muguruza in the first round of the 2022 French Open. Kanepi has 19 wins over seeded players in the first three rounds of Grand Slams, fourth in the all-time list.
Serena Williams has the most wins, achieving the feat on 29 occasions. Victoria Azarenka trails the two Williams sisters with 21 victories against seeded opponents to her name.
Noticing the post, the former World No. 1 took to Instagram to remark that she was not at all aware of this record of hers.
"More stats I never knew about," Venus Williams wrote on Instagram.
Venus Williams has defeated two seeded players in the first round and 20 seeded players in the third round at Grand Slams
Among the 22 wins against seeded players in the first three rounds at Grand Slams for Venus Williams, two came in the first round (four losses) and 20 came in the third round (12 losses). In the second round, the seven-time Grand Slam champion has lost all four encounters against seeded opposition to date.
Williams' biggest win, arguably, came against Anke Huber in the third round of the 1997 US Open, where she made history as the first unseeded player to reach the final at Flushing Meadows.
The 41-year-old also defeated 12th seed Belinda Bencic in the third round of the 2015 US Open, as well as 20th seed Daniela Hantuchova at the same stage of the 2005 edition.
Most recently, the American defeated 25th seed Mihaela Buzarnescu in the first round of the 2019 Australian Open as an unseeded player. Prior to that, the former World No. 1 had scored victories over 29th seed Daria Kasatkina and 26th seed Laura Siegemund at the 2016 Wimbledon and US Open respectively.
With Venus Williams currently in training in the hope of making a comeback, much like her sister, there is a very good chance that she can improve on the record in the coming months. The American will definitely be granted wildcards at Grand Slams and will be a nightmare draw for seeded players early on.