New York - Top-ranked Serena Williams spent nearly an hour on the practice
courts Wednesday after struggling through the second round of the US Open,
working on her skills after 10 double faults and 34 unforced errors.
Williams, trying to complete the first calendar Grand Slam since Steffi Graf
in 1988 and match Graf's Open Era record of 22 career Slam singles crowns, was
woeful at times in a 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 victory over 110th-ranked Dutch qualifier
"I definitely feel more determined to do better than what I did,"
Williams said. "I know I can play better. It definitely wasn't my happiest
"I don't think you should be happy with just winning. At least I'm not.
Maybe other people can. Always looking to do better. If I don't play well, I'm
not going to be happy even if I won."
No-one won more this year than Williams, whose 50-2 record tops all women.
She has won the past four Grand Slam titles, completing a "Serena
Slam" by winning Wimbledon in July, and at 33 is the oldest Grand Slam
women's singles champion.
But in the first set on Wednesday, Williams had to break Bertens in the 10th
game, hold in the 11th after committing four double faults and then recover
after falling behind 4-0 in the tie-breaker.
"Just trying to get those second serves in, I don't know what was on my
mind at that point," Williams said. "I was just trying to keep
fighting and keep trying."
She won seven of the last eight tie-break points to swipe the first set
after eight double faults and 26 unforced errors.
She broke three times to win the second set and take the match after 92
minutes, but it was a narrower escape than it should have been.
"I just got a little nervous," she said. "But I've been doing
totally fine. I've been completely relaxed, chill. I've been really, really
fine. So I'm going to get back into the place that I was and I'll be fine
The first steps in that direction meant going onto the practice court with
coach Patrick Mouratoglou just after her victory.
"Patrick told me some things that he saw that he thought I could work
on to improve it and to get better," she said. "I've done it a few
times. It's nothing new actually."
Comebacks are also nothing new for Williams, but she knows she cannot put
her back against the wall too often against top-level foes.
"When I get down, I tend to get really relaxed and I start to play a
little better. Taking it one moment at a time for me," she said.
"I've always made some legendary comebacks."
Williams took no solace from having played only 30 minutes in her first
match due to a retirement.
"That is no excuse. I just felt I should have been, and am, fine,"
"I felt a little tight today. I think I'll do things different, just
things with myself and I'll be better for my next match."
Next in her path is fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands on Friday.
"She's on a mission to get a record," said Mattek-Sands.
"It's going to be a battle out there."
Mattek-Sands, who underwent hip surgery last year, shared Australian and
French Open doubles titles with Czech Lucie Safarova.
"Knowing she's capable of having big wins kind of relaxes me because I
know she's going to come out and she's going to give 300 percent. She's a huge
fighter," Williams said.
"She has a great game. I know that will help me, that I have to start
out strong if I want to stay in the tournament. If not, I can go on
US Open results on Wednesday, the third day of the 2015 tournament at Flushing Meadows (x denotes seeded player):
Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) bt Andreas Haider-Maurer (AUT) 6-4, 6-1, 6-2
Andreas Seppi (ITA x25) bt Teimuraz Gabashvili (RUS) 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), 6-1
Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP x23) bt Pablo Carreo-Busta (ESP) 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 2-6, 6-4
David Goffin (BEL x14) bt Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1
Milos Raonic (CAN x10) bt Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/1)
Feliciano Lopez (ESP x18) bt Mardy Fish (USA) 2-6, 6-3, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3
Fabio Fognini (ITA x32) bt Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
Rafael Nadal (ESP x8) bt Diego Schwartzman (ARG) 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 7-5
Benot Paire (FRA) bt Marsel Ilhan (TUR) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
Tommy Robredo (ESP x26) bt Samuel Groth (AUS) 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x19) bt Marcel Granollers (ESP) 6-3, 6-4, 6-3
Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) bt Illya Marchenko (UKR) 6-4, 7-6 (7/2), 4-6, 6-4
Marin Cilic (CRO x9) bt Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) 6-2, 6-3, 7-5
Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) bt Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x17) 6-3, 7-6 (7/2), 2-6, 4-6, 6-4
Jeremy Chardy (FRA x27) bt Martin Klizan (SVK) 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (7/1)
David Ferrer (ESP x7) bt Filip Krajinovic (SRB) 7-5, 7-5, 7-6 (7/4)
Serena Williams (USA x1) bt Kiki Bertens (NED) 7-6 (7/5), 6-3
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) bt Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 6-2, 6-1
Madison Keys (USA x19) bt Tereza Smitkov (CZE) 6-1, 6-2
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x15) bt Magda Linette (POL) 6-3, 6-2
Belinda Bencic (SUI x12) bt Misaki Doi (JPN) 5-7, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3
Venus Williams (USA x23) bt Irina Falconi (USA) 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-2
Anett Kontaveit (EST) bt Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x31) 7-5, 6-4
Madison Brengle (USA) bt Anna Tatishvili (USA) 6-3, 6-2
Darya Kasatkina (RUS) bt Ana Konjuh (CRO) 6-4, 6-4
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) bt Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) 7-5, 6-1
Elina Svitolina (UKR x17) bt Kaia Kanepi (EST) 6-3, 6-4
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS x13) bt Lauren Davis (USA) 6-1, 6-2
Roberta Vinci (ITA) bt Denisa Allertov (CZE) 2-6, 6-3, 6-1
Mariana Duque (COL) bt Ocane Dodin (FRA) 6-1, 5-7, 6-2
Eugnie Bouchard (CAN x25) bt Polona Hercog (SLO) 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-3
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) bt Jessica Pegula (USA) 5-7, 7-5, 6-3