Serena: Records not important

2010-07-04 08:48
Serena Williams poses with her trophy, after defeating Vera Zonareva. (AP)

London - Wimbledon champion Serena Williams hardly had time to complete her lap of honour around Centre Court before the debate began about where she ranks among the sport's all-time greats.

Williams gave a typically dominant display of power and poise to crush Russian 21st seed Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-2 in the women's singles final at the All England Club on Saturday.

Her fourth Wimbledon singles title was the 13th Grand Slam crown of her remarkable career, taking her above Billie Jean King in the all-time list.

The 28-year-old was so dominant at Wimbledon that she didn't drop a set throughout the tournament and served a record 89 aces in her seven matches.

Only her sister Venus is capable of giving her any kind of challenge in this mood and Serena will head to the US Open in September as firm favourite to secure her third Grand Slam of the year.

With time still on her side, Serena could end up with 20 Grand Slam titles before she retires and Wimbledon legend Martina Navratilova believes the American is on course to become one of the most successful female players ever.

Navratilova, who won 18 Grand Slam titles, is convinced Serena has the weapons to pass Helen Wills Moody, who won 19 Grand Slams, and then chase down Steffi Graf, who secured 22, and maybe even Margaret Court, who heads the list with 24.

"At the rate she's going, she may catch up me and Helen Wills Moody, and maybe even Steffi," Navratilova said.

Despite all the praise showered on her after Saturday's victory, Serena herself remains completely unfazed by talk of such historic achievements.

"I've never thought about my place in history," Serena said.

"I'm living in a time where the game is faster than it was several years ago, so if they say I'm the greatest, I feel good about that, because in a couple years it will be someone else.

"I'm happy to win 13 titles. I know Martina and I guess five other people are ahead of me. But I didn't even know I was six on the list or whatnot. I'm telling you, I don't think about that kind of stuff.

"My thing is I love my dogs, I love my family, I love going to the movies, I love reading, I love going shopping.

"It's not on my list to be this great legend. I would love to open more schools in Africa or in the United States, and I would love to help people.

"I would like to be remembered as a tennis player, but also have people say 'Wow, she really did a lot to inspire other people and help other people'.

"That's what I think about, not about Serena Williams won X number of Grand Slams."

Serena's serve was virtually unplayable for the entire Championships and Zvonareva failed to earn even a solitary break point against her in the final.

The champion was happy enough with that part of her game but admitted she felt she still had room for improvement in other departments.

She joked that in an ideal world she would be able to call on the best parts of some of her contemporaries.

"I think if I built the perfect game, I'd have (Rafael) Nadal's speed. I'd have Roger Federer's forehand. I would keep my serve, then maybe Venus's reach," Serena said.

Her rivals on the women's tour will hardly sleep any easier at the thought that Serena can still get even bettter and she has no intention of walking away from tennis anytime soon.

"My timetable? Who knows? I'm always trying to stay healthy and do the best that I can. I never think about how long I'm going to play," she said.

"My thoughts will be just to try to do better than semi-finals when I get to the US Open. That's what I've always been thinking about."

Read more on:    wimbledon  |  serena williams

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