Before returning to Madrid to defender her Mutua Madrid Open title, the world number one reflected on her tennis and future
From the 2nd of May Serena Williams will be looking for her third consecutive Mutua Madrid Open title, but before defending her title, the American reflected on her tennis after the beginning of a season in which she has already won two titles.
Her big ambition is what has made Serena into one of the most important players in the history of tennis. “I feel pressure every day. I think it’s a good thing a little bit because it means I’m still really hungry. If I didn’t, then I would be like, Oh, it doesn’t matter”, she said.
Despite everything that she’s achieved, Serena still wants to continue improving in order to achieve more. “You can’t go through life and not continue to learn something. I feel like every day you should grow, so there are still things for me to learn in tennis. Just how to be better, how to be consistent. As you grow, you have different goals – I have different goals now,” said the American.
The winner of the last two editions of the Mutua Madrid Open won her 50th singles title as a professional in the Spanish capital, and can now make it 60 in Madrid following a stunning 12 months. Serena doesn’t stop surprising as she continues to attain and break records even towards the end of her career. “It feels cool to join in with legends on important tennis records. These players are really historic players that you never think you could do anything as awesome as they are. Honestly, I feel almost shocked – like, really? Me? It doesn’t seem real”.
Serna and sister Venus Williams are considered as two pioneers in the world of tennis, and have influenced how the women’s circuit has changed in the last few years enormously, something that the 17-time Grand Slam winner spoke about. “If Venus and I ever looked at each other and reflected on what we did, we wouldn’t be here. We would be vacationing on some exotic island somewhere. We can’t become satisfied yet, because there are still some things that we want to do. I think there’s some pioneering to be done. Obviously, Venus has done some pioneering of her own with everything that she’s done for equal prize money and things of that nature, so I definitely think there’s still lots of room. We’ve opened so many doors, I have to think about what next steps are”, she said.
The reigning champion knows it won’t be easy to retain her title in Madrid and recognised the high quality that is on display in today’s women’s game. “I work hard, but there are other people who work hard, too. If not, there wouldn’t be so many good players. I think consistently there is more power now. I think ten years ago there were probably six or seven players who had a lot of power. But I think now there’s more players that have more power”, she concluded. If Serena can once again beat all challengers and win her third consecutive Mutua Madrid Open will be seen on the 11th of May at the Caja Mágica.