US Open: Serena Williams makes history as Johanna Larsson victory sees her surpass Martina Navratilova record

Williams beat Swede Larsson 6-2, 6-1 to record her 307th Grand Slam victory to surpass Navratilova's existing record

Tom Allnutt
Flushing Meadows, New York
Sunday 04 September 2016 12:08
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Serena Williams celebrates after recording her 307th Grand Slam victory
Serena Williams celebrates after recording her 307th Grand Slam victory

Serena Williams broke the women's record for most grand slam singles wins as the American cruised past Johanna Larsson and into the US Open last 16.

Williams took exactly one hour to see off Sweden's Larsson 6-2 6-1 and register her 307th major victory, beating Martina Navratilova's previous all-time best.

She also draws level with Roger Federer on 307 and needs just one more win to own the record for both the men and women's game.

Williams will now face Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows as she chases a 23rd grand slam title and another spot in the history books.

The 34-year-old won her 22nd major triumph at Wimbledon this summer and currently sits level at the top of the Open era list with Steffi Graf.

Williams revealed she first heard about Navratilova's 307 grand slam singles wins at Wimbledon and says she takes great satisfaction in surpassing it.

"It was a really good feeling, I have to say," Williams said.

"To be up there with both men and women is something that's super rare, and it actually feels good.

"I was really excited to do that. Something I didn't even know about until Wimbledon. I was like, 'Oh, I have a new goal'.

"That was pretty cool for me. Obviously I want to keep that number going higher and see what can happen."

Williams was in complete control against Larsson, breaking the Swede's serve four times and hitting 24 winners to her opponent's five.

The American, however, believes there is still more to come.

"I feel okay," Williams said. "Obviously I don't feel like I'm Serena out there yet, but hopefully she'll come around the second week."

Larsson could not live with Williams as the world No 1 cruised through into the fourth round

Williams pulled out of a tournament in Cincinnati last week with a shoulder injury, but the issue appears to be clearing up.

Her first serve averaged 105 miles per hour against Larsson and found its mark 60 per cent of the time.

"My shoulder definitely feels solid," Williams said. "I'm doing a lot of work on it so I can keep it in this position."

Also into the last 16 is Serena's older sister Venus, who is due to meet her sibling in the semi-finals and, at 36, is the oldest player in the draw.

Venus eased past Germany's Laura Siegemund 6-1 6-2 and will now play 10th seed Karolina Pliskova.

Williams needed exactly one hour to defeat Larsson

The seven-time major champion has enjoyed something of a renaissance over the last 12 months, backing up her run to the quarter-finals in New York last year by making the last four at Wimbledon this summer.

"It's just a lot of willpower. That's really what it is," Venus said. "I started to feel better more consistently this year, so I'm always trying to find things to help me feel my best.

"But even if I'm not feeling great, I still manage to get a good fight in out there."

Fifth seed Simona Halep is also through to the fourth round after beating Hungary's Timea Babos, while fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska overcame France's Caroline Garcia.

PA

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