‘Just Serena’: Williams’ upset win at US Open keeps the legend advancing in final days of her storied career
Serena Williams’ first Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows came on the heels of a win in Australian Open
“For all of us that have been competing and watching tennis, I knew I was going to win,” said Williams, 25, in the fifth set of her 5-hour, 13-minute, match against Simona Halep.
“I told myself: ‘I’m going to keep on fighting, I’m going to keep on trying, I’m going to keep on smiling,’ and I tried to enjoy it. And I’m really enjoying it.”
“I was very confident going into that final match. So obviously I felt very happy that I was going to be able to get my first Grand Slam championship,” she added.
“I went into that match really focused on winning, and I’m really thankful.”
The former two-time major champion, ranked No. 1 in the world, finished with six service break points in the fifth set tiebreaker to take control of her fourth-round match against a 30th-ranked Halep.
Halep broke the American’s serve, but Williams, who was a two-time Wimbledon champion, found a way around it to take the set. She then broke Halep for the only time in the fifth set, and never looked back.
“I have been trying to get better all year and I feel like I was at my best in my last two matches,” Williams said.
“I just needed to be on my game in the third, last set and I just didn’t play very well. As soon as I started to get on a roll in the fourth set, I thought, ‘OK. I’m going to go for it. I’m going for it. I’m going for it.’”
Williams will meet No. 3 Angelique Kerber in the round of 16 at the Australian Open. Kerber, ranked No. 2, lost to Kerber’s sister, Johanna, in the fourth round at Melbourne Park.
Williams said after the match against Halep that she doesn’t want to have to make a choice between playing in the Australian Open and the US Open.