LONDON: Wimbledon champion Serena Williams insists she can cope with the pressure of going for a historic calendar Grand Slam on home turf at the US Open.
Serena is within touching distance of becoming the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1988 to win all four major titles in the same year following her sixth Wimbledon triumph.
The 33-year-old American recovered from a slow start to ease to a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Spain’s Garbine Muguruza that gave her a 21st Grand Slam crown on Saturday and made her the oldest woman to win a major in the Open era.
But Serena had barely finished parading the Venus Rosewater Dish around Centre Court before her thoughts turned to New York and the tantalising prospect of becoming only the fourth woman ever to complete a calendar sweep of the sport’s top prizes.
“I did the whole walk around the court. I was peaceful, feeling really good, then maybe a little after that I started thinking about New York,” she said. “I just thought, ‘Oh, man, I’ve won New York three times in a row. I hope this isn’t the year that I go down’.
“I feel like if I can do the Serena Slam. I really don’t feel like I have anything to lose. I’ve kind of solidified my place at number one.”
During her Wimbledon run, Serena tried to insulate herself from outside pressures by refusing to answer questions about her successful attempt to win a ‘Serena Slam’ — holding all four majors at once.
The six-time US Open winner acknowledged the scrutiny will be even more intense at Flushing Meadows, but once again she will try to focus on each match rather than the legacy-defining success.
“It’s huge. But I haven’t done it. I have the Serena Slam now, which is amazing. But, you know, it’s different to actually have something and then try to accomplish it,” she said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2015.
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