I can play much better: Serena

WASHINGTON • Top-ranked Serena Williams, coming off her fourth consecutive Grand Slam triumph at Wimbledon, has said that she has plenty of scope to improve before chasing more history at the upcoming US Open.

Speaking on a teleconference on Thursday to promote her first hard-court tune-up event for the Flushing Meadows fortnight, the 33-year-old American praised her mental game. She added that her best is yet to come.

"I'm playing some of my best mental tennis. My actual tennis, I think I could play a lot better," she said. "That's really exciting going into 2016."

Before Williams takes a serious look at next year, she will focus on the next few weeks at the year's final Grand Slam.

She could become only the fourth woman to complete a calendar-year Grand Slam and match Steffi Graf's Open era record of 22 women's Slam singles crowns.

"I'm not thinking about it much," Williams said of the history within her reach, instead taking pride in what she has already done.

She has won four slams in a row for the second time in her career, the first such run concluded by a 2003 Australian Open victory.

"I was really excited to achieve that Serena Slam," Williams said.

"It was really important for me to do that. Just holding all four trophies at the same time, two times in one career, I'm not sure how many times that has been done.

"That really means a lot."

Williams, who was forced out of the Swedish Open with a right elbow injury earlier this month, said she and her game are fine now.

"I feel okay," she said. "I always have a little nerves and a little trepidation... I'm always looking to improve. I'm never too comfortable.

"That's when I think you are susceptible to losing."

Williams will return to hard courts at the WTA Rogers Cup in Toronto in two weeks.

She won the Canadian crown in 2011 and 2013 on each of the two occasions it was held in Toronto.

"I haven't played on the hard court in a while," Williams said.

"It will be a good opportunity to get some matches under me before the US Open."

Asked if her success becomes more gratifying as she gets older, the woman who won her first Slam crown at 17 at the 1999 US Open said it feels that way at any age.

"I've definitely gotten a little better," she said. "Is it more gratifying? I feel like it's gratifying at whatever age, 20, 18, 16, 6 or 80 or 20.

"I really don't feel I act my age."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2015, with the headline 'I can play much better: Serena'. Print Edition | Subscribe