With 19th Grand Slam, Serena Williams eyes Graf’s record

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MELBOURNE, Australia – More than 15 years after she won her initial vital pretension during a age of 17, Serena Williams, now with 18 some-more Grand Slams to her name, is some-more encouraged than ever.

History is what Williams is personification opposite now in her career. And her place in it, she says, is what drives her.

“I never suspicion that we would be sitting and carrying this discussion,” Williams told a tiny organisation of reporters inside Rod Laver Arena after winning a Australian Open on Saturday, her 19th major. “Before we usually had a dream and a pole and dual smashing relatives who upheld me. A partial of me thinks, ‘Wow, we unequivocally have a possibility to emanate history,’ and a partial of me thinks, ‘Wow, I’ve finished so much. This is amazing.’ we usually try to demeanour during both sides of it.”

In what has turn complicated tennis’ many decidedly biased rivalry, Williams degraded Maria Sharapova, 6-3, 7-6(5), imprinting her 16th true win over a Russian.

It was a feat that vaulted Williams past greats Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert in a Grand Slam singles count.

Suddenly a contention turns to history’s subsequent good figure in women’s tennis: Steffi Graf’s 22 Grand Slams, a record in a Open era.

“I would adore to get to 22,” Williams pronounced after her win, a hard-fought, bruising bid opposite an desirous Sharapova. “But we have to get to 20 first, and afterwards we have to get to 21… There are so many smashing immature players entrance up, so it will be a really large task.”

Winning a pretension here for a initial time in 5 years was a large task, too. Williams struggled in her early matches during Melbourne Park, twice entrance behind from a set down. A cough lingered in her chest for many of a fortnight, and Saturday night she vomited off justice during a sleet delay, she said.

But on fought Serena, and on fights Serena. She has distanced herself by a length of 3 tennis courts from a subsequent biggest in this generation, her sister Venus, who has won 7 Grand Slam singles trophies. Sharapova has five.

“I’m unapproachable to be partial of an epoch where she’s in,” Sharapova, 27, pronounced of Williams after a loss. “I adore personification opposite a best, and during a impulse she is.”

This impulse and many before. And what about after? At 33, Williams says she feels improved than ever.

“I feel like I’m doing all better,” Williams told Evert in an talk on ESPN. “My mom told me during 30 that these are my best years. I’m portion better, I’m attack a round better. Thirty is a new 20, we guess.”

Twenty also happens to be a series of majors that she’s chasing in a Grand Slam win column.

History, from Melbourne, cranes a neck towards Paris and a red mud of Roland Garros.

“When we consider about Paris, we don’t consider about 20,” Williams explains. “I usually consider about winning there. It’s a one Slam we don’t have some-more than dual titles (at).”

You know you’re creation story when Slams are totalled by not if you’ve won them, though how many of them you’ve won – and won and won.

Williams’ symbol on tennis travels on in 2015. It’s a initial time in 5 years she’s won a calendar’s initial Slam. Is a calendar year Slam even fathomable? All 4 would put her during 22 for her home major, a U.S. Open.

“I don’t consider numbers,” says Williams laughing, mislaid somewhere between self-contradiction and euphoria as she finished some 3 hours of post-victory engagements.

Perhaps many strange is a champion’s mind: Williams is 19-4 in majors, an .826 batting average. To Williams, it’s usually what she expects. Actually, she expects more.

“I usually get adult for them,” she says seemingly of vital finals. “If we had won those four… we would have been better.”

In other words: She would have already upheld Graf.

But Williams, even a 17-year-old chronicle of herself, knew that when she had a chance, she couldn’t behind down.

“Opportunities don’t come often,” she pronounced after her win during a U.S. Open in 1999, that initial major. “They usually come now and afterwards and if we don’t take them they’ll pass we by.”

Serena Williams, it seems, is flitting everybody by. And, with story overhanging during her from opposite a net, she’s not looking back.

PHOTOS: Williams vs. Sharapova


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