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Serena Williams feels 'great' heading into U.S. Open

August 24, 2013|By Diane Pucin
  • Serena Williams practices Saturday in Flushing, N.Y., in preparation for the U.S. Open.
Serena Williams practices Saturday in Flushing, N.Y., in preparation… (Peter Foley / EPA )

NEW YORK — Serena Williams is 31 years old and if she wins the U.S. Open for the fifth time she will be the oldest women's singles champion ever at the event. She's also played 64 matches this year, the most in her career, a statistic Williams said Saturday she finds exciting, especially since her record is 60-4.

"It's interesting," she said. "I feel great. I feel completely recharged. I feel healthy. I feel fine. To play more matches now, later in my career, it's interesting how good I feel."

And being the oldest women's singles champion? "That would be great," Williams said. "That's not one thing I focus on and one thing I think about. I just think about that there are so many people in the competition and so many things I would like to do."

Williams, who won the French Open this year, said she also isn't obsessed about winning a second major this season.

"I don't need to do anything," she said. "That's the beauty of my career. I don't need to do anything at all. Everything I do from this day forward is a bonus. Everything for me is just extra now."

Williams is the defending U.S. Open champion and already has 16 Grand Slam titles. But losing, even if only four times in a season, still motivates her to do better. She was an overwhelming favorite at Wimbledon this summer but lost in the fourth round to Sabine Lisicki, a defeat that ended a 34-match winning streak.

''I was obviously bothered by that," Williams said. "I wanted to do better. I was disappointed. I'm still disappointed. But I had opportunities and I didn't take them in the match. I have to realize that I have to just be better and learn from the experience. It's not the end of the world. I can always do better and keep growing.''

Williams is the No. 1 seed in the U.S. Open, which begins Monday. Victoria Azarenka is seeded No. 2 and Maria Sharapova is No. 3.

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