Serena Matches Evert, Navratilova After US Open Win

Serena-20WilliamsSerena Williams said she had  felt the pressure of chasing an 18th Grand Slam title until Sunday’s US Open victory.

The American beat Caroline Wozniacki 6-3 6-3 to go fourth on the all-time list of major winners alongside Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert.

Williams, 32, admitted it had been on her mind all year, and was the first thing she thought of upon victory.

“I’ve been trying to reach it for so long,” she said. “I didn’t really think I would get there. I felt so good.”

Navratilova and Evert joined Williams for the trophy ceremony and presented her with a bracelet carrying the number ‘18’ to make her achievement.

“It means a lot to me,” said the world number one.

“I just could never have imagined that I would be mentioned with Chris Evert or with Martina Navratilova, because I was just a kid with a dream and a racquet.

“Living in Compton, this never happened before.”

It was Williams’s sixth US Open and 18th Grand Slam title, but her first in a year that, before New York, had seen her fail to get past the fourth round at any of the other majors.

“I definitely did not think I was going to win a Slam this year,” she added. “And I even said, ‘I’m ready to start next year already. Let’s put this behind me.’

Williams has now won six US Open, five Wimbledon, five Australian Open and two French Open titles over the course of 15 years – a record span of years between winning Grand Slams.

Both Navratilova and Evert won their 18 titles over the course of 12 years, and Williams’s longevity is something that John McEnroe, a four-time US Open winner, believes makes her the best ever.

“She won her first US Open at 17, she’s about to turn 33 – that’s a pretty good run she’s got going there,” said the American on CBS TV coverage.

“It’s pretty hard to argue with the fact that if she’s playing the way she’s capable of playing, she’s the greatest female player of all time.

“How intimidating she is, with the power, she’s got everything.”

BBC

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