Serena chases calendar Slam, history at US Open

Last Updated 30 August 2015, 07:47 IST

World number one Serena Williams feels the pressure of chasing history at the US Open, but she accepts the intensity as the price for dominating a generation of women's tennis

The 33-year-old American, who captured her first Grand Slam title at the 1999 US Open at age 17, is a huge favorite as she tries to complete the first calendar-year Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988 by winning her 22nd career major title starting Monday on the New York hardcourts.

"I decided I prefer to have that pressure than the pressure of not winning," Williams said. "Not everyone can handle that pressure, but I'm OK with it. I would rather be in this position than another one."

Still, there's no doubt Williams is looking forward to seeing her designs in a New York fashion show a few days after the US Open.

By then, the Grand Slam bid will be over, win or lose.
"I'm ready. I'm so ready. I'm ready to get it over with," Williams said. "I don't care if I win or lose or break even. I'm ready to start it, get it over with, and be done and go on to the next event."

Williams seeks her fourth consecutive US Open title after having won this year's French and Australian Opens and Wimbledon as well as hardcourt events in Miami and Cincinnati, the last US Open warm-up where she defeated Romania's Simona Halep in the final for a 69th career crown.

"It gives me confidence to know that what I've been working on these past few days and weeks has been going very well," said Williams.

"It also makes me realize the feeling of winning. I like that feeling and want to do the hard work."

Williams has won six Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open titles and three French Open crowns to stand one shy of Steffi Graf's Open Era (since 1968) record of 22 Grand Slam singles trophies and only three shy of Australian Margaret Court's all-time record of 24.

(Published 30 August 2015, 07:47 IST)

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