Serena Plots Calendar Slam At US Open | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Serena Plots Calendar Slam At US Open

Posted: Jul 14, 2015 at 1:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Wimbledon Champion, Serena Williams has her eyes on New York, not always the most welcoming landscape for her but now a destination where she is desperate to make history and friends.

Where once there was rancour this time there ought to be the most fulsome lavishing of celebration for the finest tennis player the women’s game has known since Steffi Graf as Williams attempts to draw alongside the German’s tally of 22 majors while completing the first calendar grand slam since Graf’s in 1988.



Williams will arrive as owner of all four championships and at the very peak of her game at 33 fit, healthy and happy. What could possibly go wrong? Everything, if history crowds in on her.

Williams’s home audience has not always been kind to her in the cavernous Arthur Ashe Stadium. There was the welter of poor calls against her during a loss to Jennifer Capriati in 2004; she was fined $10,500 for launching a tirade at a line official there six years ago during an acrimonious semi-final against Kim Clijsters and she was driven to apoplexy in a row with the chair umpire over a late scream of “come on!” when losing to Sam Stosur in the 2011 final. But this time, surely, it will be different.

Was she prepared for the barrage of questions she will receive about her bid for the slam when she returns to the United States before the US Open? “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. I want to go in that locker room and take my famous picture on my knees and hold up that No4 for a fourth title in a row.

“And 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.”

And the US Open? “It would be amazing. It would be really good to have an opportunity. Even to have this opportunity to go into New York, being an American, with that amazing New York crowd I feel like I play better when I’m relaxed. Last year going into the US Open I didn’t get to the quarter-finals of any grand slam and so going into that tournament I was so relaxed that 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, and that’s literally how I took it. So I just have to take it one match at a time.