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Wimbledon 2015: Serena Williams is allowing herself to dream of a fairytale in New York

By Paul Newman

Published 13/07/2015

Hands on the prize: Serena Williams shows off her sixth Wimbledon title, which doubles up as the third leg in her quest to become the fourth woman to complete the calendar Grand Slam
Hands on the prize: Serena Williams shows off her sixth Wimbledon title, which doubles up as the third leg in her quest to become the fourth woman to complete the calendar Grand Slam
'From the start of this Wimbledon, Williams refused to talk about the 'Serena Slam', which was the term coined when she held all four Grand Slam titles at the start of 2003'

If you want to know what Serena Williams thinks about needing victory at next month's US Open to complete a pure calendar Grand Slam of all four Major titles, read on while you can.

On Saturday evening, hours after her 6-4 6-4 victory over Spain's Garbine Muguruza had secured both her sixth Wimbledon triumph and her second 'Serena Slam' of four consecutive Grand Slam titles (but not in the same year), Williams said she had no intention of spending the next seven weeks discussing the prospect of further cementing her place in history.

"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.

"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 with."

From the start of this Wimbledon, Williams refused to talk about the 'Serena Slam', which was the term coined when she held all four Grand Slam titles at the start of 2003.

Now she needs to win her home Grand Slam event for the fourth year in a row to become only the fourth woman in history - after Maureen Connolly in 1953, Margaret Court in 1970 and Steffi Graf in 1988 - to win all four Major titles in the same calendar year.

Victory at Flushing Meadows would also put Williams equal with Graf, who holds the Open era record with 22 Grand Slam titles. Court holds the all-time record with 24 titles.

"It would be amazing," Williams said when asked to consider what it would be like to win in New York.

"It would be really good even to have this opportunity to go into New York, being an American, with that amazing New York crowd. Hopefully people will be cheering me on to push me over the edge, give me that extra strength I need to go for this historic moment. That would be great.

"I think in a way it also makes things easier for me because I feel like I have nothing to lose. I feel like I can just go in there and do the best I can and just hope for the best."

Williams agreed that winning all four Grand Slam titles in the same year was the ultimate achievement in tennis. "I think it is because everyone says and writes about it as the ultimate so obviously you can't help but see it that way too," she said. "There's a reason it's been 27 years since it's been done. It's not the easiest thing to do."

She added: "There is a difference when you win all four in one year but at the same time, winning all four in a row is cool. You can't be disappointed with winning four in a row not in the same year."

Williams said that it was only after her victory on Saturday that she had thought about the possibility of winning the Grand Slam. "I was more focused on winning Wimbledon," she said. "At the beginning of the year, this was the one I wanted. That was the first thing on my mind."

Compared with last year, Williams will head for New York in a very different frame of mind. "Last year I didn't get to the quarter-finals of any Slam, so going into that tournament I was so relaxed," she said.

"I thought: 'I might repeat that and I probably won't get too far.' So I just went in there having a low goal - quarter-finals - and then building on that goal match by match."

Belfast Telegraph

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