Williams awed by latest ‘Serena Slam’
Williams defeated Spain’s Garbine Muguruza 6-4, 6-4 in Saturday’s final to add the Wimbledon trophy to the US, Australian and French Opens she already had in her collection over the last year.
The 33-year-old’s second ‘Serena Slam’ — she also achieved the feat in 2002-03 — was just one of a slew of historic milestones that came with her 21st major title.
She is the first woman to win the French Open and Wimbledon back to back since 2002.
And if she successfully defends the US Open title in August she will become the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1988 to win a calendar Grand Slam.
But of all those achievements it was the ‘Serena Slam’ that meant the most.
“I’ve been trying to win four in a row for 12 years, and it hasn’t happened. I’ve had a couple injuries. You know, it’s been an up‑and‑down process,” Williams said.
“I honestly can’t say that last year or two years ago or even five years ago I would have thought that I would have won four in a row. So just starting this journey, having all four trophies at home, is incredible. That for me stands out the most.”
Serena had banned talk of her legacy-defining achievements throughout the tournament.
But the American was finally happy to talk milestones before walking off court with a broad grin as she balanced the Venus Rosewater Dish on her head.
“I didn’t want to talk about the Serena Slam. I honestly wouldn’t have thought last year after winning the US Open I would win the Serena Slam at all,” she said.
“I just knew I wanted to win Wimbledon this year. Of all the Grand Slams, it was the one I hadn’t won in a while. It was like, I really want to win Wimbledon. It happened.
“Just amazing. It feels really, really good.”
At 33 years and 289 days, Serena surpasses Martina Navratilova as the oldest woman to a Grand Slam in the Open era.
But, quizzed about the secret of her longevity, Serena admitted she didn’t know she had set that new mark.
“I’m officially the eldest? Cool,” she smiled.
“I mean, I feel great. I definitely don’t feel old. I think in life I’m still pretty young.
“You know, like I always say, with new technology, new workouts, all this other stuff, I think the life of an athlete is changing and the longevity is becoming longer.”
Williams was broken twice when she served for the title at 5-1 and 5-3 — a lapse she attributed to an unusually shaky serve rather than any nerves.
“I just didn’t feel my serve today. I think if I had felt it better during the match, maybe I would have been able to close it out,” she said.
“She also returned really well, so I think that helped her out. She never gave up hope of raising the trophy.”
Serena also revealed her lucky charm for the tournament — a dress she had packed to wear at the annual champions’ ball in case she ended up with the trophy.
“I always bring a dress just in case. I found out the better dresses I bring, I usually win. I brought a really nice one this time,” she said.
While Muguruza’s bid to become the first Spanish woman to win Wimbledon since 1994 ended in disappointment, the big-hitting 21-year-old’s impressive display suggests she is now set to become a fixture at the business end of major tournament.
“I enjoyed it a lot. I don’t have words to say how I feel. I’m very proud and happy to be here,” Muguruza said. -AFP