Serena Williams: ‘All four trophies are at my house now. It is kind of cool’

Williams glad to put talk of ‘Serena Slam’ behind her after SW19 win

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If you want to know what Serena Williams thinks about needing victory at next month’s US Open to complete a pure calendar-year Grand Slam of all four major titles, read on while you can.

On Saturday evening, hours after her 6-4, 6-4 victory over Spain’s Garbine Muguruza had secured both her sixth Wimbledon triumph and her second “Serena Slam” of four consecutive Grand Slam titles but not in the same year, Williams said she had no intention of spending the next seven weeks discussing the prospect of further cementing her place in history.

“You’d better ask all your questions about the Grand Slam because it will be banned soon,” Williams smiled. “I’m really nice right now but sooner or later it’s going to be cut out because I can’t think about that. I have to go into New York thinking: ‘Listen, I want to win the US Open. I want to defend my title’. And that’s the only reason I want to be there.

“That’s how I got through this. It wasn’t about winning the ‘Serena Slam’, it was about winning Wimbledon. I hadn’t won here in a while, I really wanted to win this title and that’s the same mind frame I want to go into the next Grand Slam.”

From the start of this Wimbledon Williams refused to talk about the “Serena Slam”, which was the term coined when she held all four Grand Slam titles at the start of 2003. Now she needs to win her home Grand Slam event for the fourth year in a row to become only the fourth woman in history – after Maureen Connolly in 1953, Margaret Court in 1970 and Steffi Graf in 1988 – to win all four major titles in the same calendar year.

Victory at Flushing Meadows would also put Williams equal with Graf, who holds the Open era record with 22 Grand Slam titles. Court holds the all-time record with 24 titles.

“It would be amazing,” Williams said when asked to consider what it would be like to win in New York.

“It would be really good even to have this opportunity to go into New York, being an American, with that amazing New York crowd. Hopefully people will be cheering me on to push me over the edge, give me that extra strength I need to go for this historic moment. That would be great.

“I think in a way it also makes things easier for me because I feel like I have nothing to lose. I feel like I can just go in there and do the best I can and just hope for the best.”

Williams agreed that winning all four Grand Slam titles in the same year was the ultimate achievement in tennis. “I think it is because everyone says and writes about it as the ultimate so obviously you can’t help but see it that way too,” she said. “There’s a reason it’s been 27 years since it’s been done. It’s not the easiest thing to do.”

She added: “I guess there is a difference when you win all four in one year but at the same time, winning all four in a row – all four trophies are at my house right now – is kind of cool. You can’t be disappointed with winning four in a row not in the same year.”

Williams said that it was only after her victory on Saturday that she had thought about the possibility of winning the Grand Slam. “I was just more focused on winning Wimbledon,” she said. “At the beginning of the year, this was the one I really wanted to win. That was the first thing and the main thing on my mind.”

Compared with last year, Williams will head for New York in a very different frame of mind. “Last year going into the US Open I didn’t get to the quarter-finals of any Grand Slam, so going into that tournament I was so relaxed,” she said.

“I thought: ‘I might repeat that and I probably won’t get too far in this tournament.’ So I just went in there having a low goal – quarter-finals – and then building on that goal match by match. That’s literally how I took it.”

In the aftermath of her victory on Saturday, Williams was asked how she stayed focused at key moments in the match. “Usually I’m singing a song in my head,” she said. “Then if I stop singing it, I usually start losing, then I go back to singing. It’s crazy up there. You don’t want to be up there.”

Later in the evening she was asked what the song was. “You’re not going to believe it if I told you,” she smiled. “Well, I usually sing ‘What a Feeling’ by Irene Cara. Random, right?”


Wimbledon in numbers

165 - Aces served by Ivo Karlovic – 46 more than any other man ... and from just four matches

80 - Aces from Serena Williams ... 21 more than next best woman

2009 - Defending champion Petra Kvitova failed to make the last eight for first time in six years

147mph - Fastest recorded serve, by Australian Sam Groth

44 - Double faults served by Maria Sharapova – 10 more than  any other man or woman

379 - Days since Serena lost a Grand Slam match, having claimed the last four titles

2 - Points Heather Watson was away from beating Serena

26 - Days by which Serena beat Martina Navratilova to become the oldest women to win a Slam in the Open era

0 - 2014 women’s quarter-finalists made last eight this year

4 - Successive exits before the last eight for Rafael Nadal

3 - A British woman made the third round for the third time in four years

17 - Years between Wimbledon titles for Martina Hingis, who won the woman’s doubles after her 1998 success

6-0, 6-0 - There were three double bagels in the woman’s tournament this year

18 - Andy Murray has made the last eight of his last 18 Grand Slam tournaments

15 - Aljaz Bedene won his first Grand Slam match at the  15th attempt

5 - Novak Djokovic has only failed to make five of the last 20 Grand Slam finals

10 - Wimbledon finals for Roger Federer – three more than Pete Sampras and Boris Becker