US Open 2013: Serena Williams’ verdict on a year when she won two Slams: ‘I’m a little bit disappointed’

World No 1 admits to being ‘a little crazy’ in not relishing her fifth US Open triumph

Flushing Meadows

Serena Williams’ victory over Victoria Azarenka in the US Open final here on Sunday night was her second Grand Slam triumph of the year, the 17th of her career and her 14th title in her last 19 tournaments. The world No 1 admitted, however, she was relieved after her 7-5, 6-7, 6-1 win.

“I felt almost disappointed with my year, to be honest,” Williams said. “I felt like: ‘Yeah, I won the French Open, but I wasn’t happy with my performances in the other two Slams.’ I didn’t even make it to the quarter-finals of one of them, so I definitely feel a lot better with at least a second Grand Slam under my belt this year.”

A 32nd birthday is approaching for the American, but at this rate plenty more records are also beckoning. The latest win – her fifth US Open triumph, 14 years after her first – takes Williams within one Grand Slam singles title of the totals won by both Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova and leaves her just five behind the 22 won by Steffi Graf, which is the record for the Open era.

Asked about future goals, including the prospect of trying to overhaul Graf, Williams said: “I don’t think about it. I feel great. I have never felt better. I feel really fit. I can play a tournament like this – singles, doubles – with tough, tough schedules. For the most part, I felt really good. I haven’t felt like this in a number of years. I’m excited about the possibilities. I don’t know what can  happen. I just keep playing and do the best that I can.”

A 17th Grand Slam title also puts Williams equal with Roger Federer, who holds the record in the men’s game. “It’s an honour to be even with Roger,” she said. “He’s been such a great champion throughout the years. He’s just an unbelievable competitor and he’s still playing and can probably still win more. It feels really good to be in that same league as him. He’s just been so incredibly consistent, so we have had really different careers.”

The one player who might just stop Williams in her tracks is Azarenka, the world No 2, who proved once again that she is not in awe of the American. Twice an Australian Open champion, the 24-year-old from Belarus has turned around what was a losing record against Williams, having beaten her twice this year.

Although she did not come as close to victory as she had in last year’s final, Azarenka showed great resilience, particularly in fighting back from 4-1 down in the second set. Williams, who was more troubled by the windy conditions than her opponent, served for the match three times in the second set, but on each occasion Azarenka broke back. “Today wasn’t probably my best tennis of the tournament, but there were a lot of things going on against a good player,” Williams said when asked about her missed opportunities. “ I think I got a little uptight, which probably wasn’t the best thing at that moment. I wasn’t playing very smart tennis then, so I just had to relax and not do that again.”

Williams’ prize money of $3.6m (£2.3m), boosted by a bonus for her performances in the tournaments in the build-up to New York, takes her earnings for this year to more than $9m (£5.8m) – only Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have ever won more in a single season – and her career prize-money to more than $50m (£32m).

“Someone told me today I passed $50m, but half of that goes to my Uncle Sam,” Williams said with a laugh, referring to her taxes. “ I love him. I’m always giving him half my money.

“I don’t play tennis for the money. I honestly love to play. I love Grand Slams. When I grew up playing tennis in Compton, I just never thought about any of this. I didn’t think about the press. I didn’t even know all this came with everything. I think my dad got me into tennis because of the money, but me being naive and silly, I never thought about it. I just thought: ‘I want to win.’ I wanted to do what Venus does. I want to win and I want to do more.”

She added: “I’m already thinking about what I could have done better. I think I’m a little crazy in that part, like something must be not right,  because I don’t even relish the  moment enough. I just automatically think: ‘What’s next?’”


Get Adobe Flash player


Serena's progress: grand slam titles

Serena Williams’ win over Victoria Azarenka in the US Open final was her 17th Grand Slam singles title. She has also lost in four finals.

US Open 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013

French Open 2002, 2013

Australian Open 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010

Wimbledon 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012

Women’s Slam winners

1 Margaret Court * 24

2 Steffi Graf 22

3 Helen Wills Moody* 19

4 Martina Navratilova 18

= Chris Evert 18

6 Serena Williams 17

7 Billie Jean King 12

8 Suzanne Lenglen* 8

9 Venus Williams 7

= Maria Bueno* 7

* Played before the Open era

On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week