SERENA AND THE RECORDS

By Craig Gabriel

MIAMI: It is no secret that Serena Williams is intense on court. She wants to win every point she plays and as good and as awesome as a 6-0, 6-1 score line might be, the only absolute perfect score is winning every single point of a match and ending 6-0, 6-0. To see something like happen is next to impossible but it won’t stop the lady trying.

She only wants to do the best she can and pretty much nothing else is on her mind while she is battling it out. That was the case when she defeated Italian Flavia Pennetta 6-1, 6-1 to secure her place in the third round of the Sony Open Tennis.

All those results go towards the record books and her rewriting parts of tennis history. She says something like that does not normally occupy her mind but when a record or milestone is approaching, then she starts to think about them.

“When you get close and are closer to a goal, you can’t help but start thinking, ‘Okay, I want to do history’,” said Serena. “          In retrospect I have made history already, so I just try to keep it going a little bit at a time.

She was asked which specific aspect she was talking about with reference to the “history”.

“It’s the Grand Slam,” she said. “I don’t think I could ‑‑ I don’t know if I could ever top the No. 1 Margaret Court, but, you know, I don’t know.  It would be exciting and try to reach some of my fellow countrywomen that are ahead of me.”

At this specific event she is on the verge of tournament history. Right now she is tied with Stephanie Graf with the most singles titles, five, so she would love to break out of that and be the sole owner of the record.

“That would be really cool; I have a lot of matches to play,” said Serena. “If I can just stay relaxed ‑‑ I really feel like I can do it, but, you know, I’m sometimes my own worst enemy.  I just want to get through every match one at a time.”

And as part of that whole aspect of holding records and being in the history books comes fan appreciation. Her standing in the game is among the greatest who have ever played which was proven yet again when someone from the crowd yelled she is their hero.

“It was so inspirational. I felt amazing at that point. I felt it was really just cool,” said Serena who is genuinely touched by such comments. “I had a moment where I had to stop and think to myself that that is the ultimate compliment someone could give.  I just never ‑‑ when I was growing up, I never dreamt of being ‑‑ someone saying that to me.

“So I hope I can encourage whoever that was and who’s ever out there that feels that way, because that’s what I’m here to do.”