Serena Williams remained on course for her 24th Grand Slam singles title after a three-set win over former champion Sloane Stephens to advance to the fourth round of the US Open on Saturday. Williams came from a set down to defeat her countrywoman 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 and later said she had to raise her level in the second set.
"Yeah, I just wanted -- that's my thing is just try to stay calm and be more serene. But, yeah, I just knew it was important for me just to keep trying, just to keep going. Well, I just missed all of them (serve) in the first set, so I think in the second set I feel like my serve percentage went up a little more and I had to start making a few more.
I think, you know, that definitely helped a lot."
Serena Williams says she is fortunate to be in her position and be Serena
While Williams already has the Open Era record with 23 Grand Slam singles titles, she is now trying to equal the all-time record of Margaret Court's 24 Grand Slams.
The American says being in her position is difficult but she wouldn't have it any other way. "Sometimes it's harder than others. Every day having 'Serena' on your back is a massive target for the tour, for press, for stress.
But as Billie Jean King said, pressure is a privilege. So I wouldn't want it any other way. So I just try to think about how fortunate I am to have been in this position, and honestly, to be Serena. It feels weird to say that (smiling)."
The American was also asked if she had spoken to anybody else who had been chasing a major record, Serena responded, "No, I haven't. I haven't spoken to anyone. Maybe that would have been, would have, would, could be a good idea.
But it's a little bit of a different position, but I've always been a massive fan of all those players. No, I never -- I hope they would like to talk to me." Serena Williams next meets Greek Maria Sakkari for a spot in the quarter-finals - Sakkari had beaten her at last week's Western & Southern Open and Williams says she hopes to do better this time.
"I don't think it's anything tricky, especially when you lost it's good to kind of go back out there and try to do a little bit better." (Image Credit - US Open)