Serena Williams has been on the cusp of equaling the all time record of 24 Grand Slam Championship titles for the last four years and admits that she feels the burden on her shoulders.
Williams already holds the record of the most Grand Slams won by any player in the Open Era, however she remains one behind the overall record of 24 set by Margaret Court.
The former World number one last won a major in 2017, beating sister Venus in the final of the Australian Open while in the early stages of pregnancy.
Since returning to the game after the birth of her daughter, Williams has come close on several occasions, reaching the finals of both Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018 and again in 2019.
After an extended break through a disrupted 2020 season due to the coronavirus, Williams returned to court in Australia his week reaching the semi-finals of the Yarra Valley Classic, before withdrawing due to a slight shoulder injury.
The withdrawal appears to be more of a precaution though and Williams, who is currently ranked 11th in the world, is feeling confident ahead of the Australian Open.
“I feel pretty good. I’ve gotten a lot of treatment already on my shoulder" Williams confirmed.
"But I’m super confident it’s going to be great. I’m feeling very confident, I think is a better word, and getting ready for hopefully the next two weeks."
“I was just thinking about more or less how I was feeling. I think at my age, my career, I really just try to go on how I’m feeling physically and not put myself in a bad position in general for my health.”
When asked about the elusive 24th Grand Slam title, Williams admitted: "It’s definitely on my shoulders and on my mind.
"I think it’s good to be on my mind. I think it’s a different burden on my shoulders because I’m used to it now."
Williams will face Germany's Laura Siegemund in the first round and she thinks it will be a good challenge.
“She has had lots of great wins over top players,” she said of the world number 51. “She has a different game. She mixes up the pace a lot.
“It will be a really good match for me to get in there early and play my best.”
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