Williams eyes US Open and calendar Slam
WIMBLEDON champion Serena Williams insists she can cope with the pressure of going for a historic calendar Grand Slam on home turf at the US Open.
She is within touching distance of becoming the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1988 to win all four major titles in the same year, following her sixth Wimbledon triumph.
The 33-year-old American recovered from a slow start to ease to a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Spain's Garbine Muguruza, which gave her a 21st Grand Slam crown on Saturday and made her the oldest woman to win a Grand Slam title in the Open era.
But Williams had barely finished parading the Venus Rosewater Dish around Centre Court before her thoughts turned to New York and the tantalising prospect of becoming only the fourth woman to complete a calendar-year sweep of the sport's top prizes.
"I did the whole walk around the court. I was peaceful, feeling really good, then maybe a little after that I started thinking about New York," she said.
"I just thought: 'Oh, man, I've won New York three times in a row. I hope this isn't the year that I go down. I want to do well there.'
"I feel like, if I can do the Serena Slam, I will be OK heading into the (calendar) Grand Slam.
"Like I always say, there's 127 other players (in the tournament) that don't want to see me win. Nothing personal, they just want to win.
"But I really don't feel like I have anything to lose. I've kind of solidified my place at No. 1, so we'll just go from there."
During her Wimbledon run, Williams tried to insulate herself from outside pressures by refusing to answer questions about her successful attempt to win a "Serena Slam" - holding all four Grand Slams at the same time, albeit not in the same year.
She had started her roll at last September's US Open, moved on to this year's Australian and French opens, before wrapping up with Wimbledon on Saturday.
The six-time US Open winner acknowledged that the scrutiny will be even more intense at Flushing Meadows, but once again, she will try to focus on each match rather than the legacy-defining success at her fingertips.
"It's huge. But I haven't done it. I have the Serena Slam now, which is amazing. But, you know, it's different to actually have something and then try to accomplish it," she said.
"Of course I'm going to try to do the best I can, but I don't have the (calendar) Grand Slam in my hands.
"I can't really feel that if it's not there. Hopefully I'll do well at the Open and then I can answer that question."
Her latest triumph triggered accolades from across the sporting world, with some claiming the American should now be hailed as the greatest female athlete of all time.
Asked how much longer she can sustain her remarkably dominant run, Williams - who has a 39-1 record this year - sent an ominous message to her rivals.
"Physically, I feel like I'm better. I feel like I can do more than I did 10, 12 years ago," she said. "I just keep reinventing myself in terms of working out, in terms of my game. It's been working."
There is little chance of Williams, inspired by the expert motivation of her French coach Patrick Mouratoglou, being tripped up by complacency.
"If you look back, it's so easy to become satisfied and complacent. That's one thing I don't want to have," she added. "One day, if I ever retire, I'll be like, 'Oh you did a good job.' Right now I'm really into just continuing to be the greatest champion I can be."