“Yeah, I have amazing will. I love to win.”
--Serena Williams, who won the U.S. Open for the third time last night in New York and captured her ninth career Grand Slam singles title.
Williams completed her surprising climb back to #1 Sunday night with a 6-4, 7-5 victory against Jelena Jankovic.
The 23-year-old Jankovic was appearing in her first Grand Slam final.
The hard-fought victory also gave Williams the #1 ranking in the world by beating the #2 player in the world. The #1 player, Ana Ivanovic, lost in the second round.
“I’m here to stay. Number 1 is not my goal. I know I’ll get that eventually if I continue to play the tournaments.”
--Serena Williams, who once held #1 for 57 straight weeks, but not since August 2003.
Injury, the murder of her half-sister and career interests in fashion and acting, upset her focus, hindered her career and sent her ranking below 125 in the last five years. After a surprising win at the Australian Open in 2007, it took her two years to get back completely.
“She’s working hard now, but it would have come quicker if she had worked harder before, but they [Serena and her sister, Venus] have their other activities. She thinks she’s supposed to win everything, that’s her will. She thinks everything’s hers.”
--Oracene Price, her mother.
“I’m playing a lot more, having more consistent results, and just putting in the effort. I think my results are finally showing,” says Williams.
Excerpts from the New York Times, 09/06/2008 and 09/08/2008.