Chanda Rubin still perfectly remembers when she beat Serena Williams and the American told her she now needed to win the whole thing. In 2002, Rubin defeated Williams in the Los Angeles quarterfinal with a 6-2 4-6 7-5 score.
"Yes. I played her in tournament in Los Angeles, and I was able to win that match in a tiebreak in the third set. That's, like, the closest a match can really be. And at the end of that match, you know, she was so kind to warm me up the next day.
And just to give you a little reference, that never happens. If you beat a player or, you know, you play somebody, the next day, they don't want to have anything to do with you. And so she was kind enough to warm me up. And after that, she told me, now go win the tournament.
(Laughter) And I said, OK, you know what? I think I should," Rubin told NPR.
Rubin proceeded to win the title after beating Williams
After clinching a big victory over Williams, Rubin ousted Jelena Dokic with a 6-0 6-2 result.
Then in the Los Angeles final, Rubin recovered from a set down to beat Lindsay Davenport with a 5-7 7-6 6-3 score. Beating Williams gave Rubin the confidence that she could indeed win the tournament. "And, of course, I did.
You know, when you beat Serena, you feel like, OK, I'm playing pretty well. And I can handle anybody else across the net," Rubin added. Rubin and Williams clashed twice during their careers - both times in 2002. In the summer of 2002, Williams defeated Rubin at Wimbledon.
A month and a half later, Rubin got her revenge after beating Williams in Los Angeles. Rubin and Williams never clashed again, but Rubin didn't really play much after the 2004 season.