Serena Williams is a 23-time Grand Sam champion - the most by any player in the Open Era - and is now gunning for the all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles, which is held by Australia's Margaret Court. The American has always set very high standards for herself but says she is trying to tone them down as she moved into the third round of the US Open on Thursday after a straight sets win over Russia's Margarita Gasparyan.
Williams was broken twice in the second set but says she is happy to get through to the third round for now after the 6-2, 6-4 win. "I felt like she returned really well and I think that's been what's holding me back as I get frustrated.
But I'm out here and I'm fighting and I felt like it was just a minor setback and if anything it can help me know what not to do next time."
Serena Williams says trying to be perfect not a fun way to live your career & life
According to Yahoo, Williams says that she is trying to tone down her need for perfectionism - both on the court and off the court.
"I always feel like I'm not perfect unless I'm perfect. That's not a fun way to live your career and live your life. So it doesn't matter if I lose 20 points in a row now. I just feel like, 'It's OK, it's fine, I'm here, and I'm happy.
I get to play tennis after all these years. I always feel joy when I win. "But that's also unrealistic because you can't win every single match every time, and that's kind of the pressure I put on myself. It's just completely unrealistic.
So I don't. I had to take a step back and just really say, 'OK, Serena, no matter who you are or what you are, no one has ever done that.' " The 38 year old Williams will next meet another former champion - the No.
26 seeded Sloane Stephens in the third round. Stephens won the US Open in 2017 and has beaten Williams once in their six career matches - but the two have not played on the tour since 2015. Serena Williams is seeded No. 3 at the US Open this year and is currently ranked No. 8 in the world. Her match against Stephens is scheduled for Saturday.