Serena Williams ‘paved the way’ for mothers to keep playing tennis, says Martina Navratilova
For the first time since she retired in 2004, Serena Williams is back competing.
The US Open champion is back at the top of her sport with the victory for her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, a feat she accomplished without ever winning a Grand Slam title in her career.
Serena was in action Saturday for the first time since her quarterfinal victory. The 35-year-old had one of her more-impressive matches, beating two top-10 players in the quarterfinals Saturday that lasted more than 5 hours and 15 minutes.
Williams, who has an American mother and a Swedish-Russian father, is now one win away from breaking her own records, which only included one major: the 2002 Australian Open at the age of 23.
“I am so happy I was allowed to do this,” she said following the final match of the day for a 4-hour, 23-minute semifinal that ended with Williams beating defending champion Victoria Azarenka.
“I am so blessed. I had the opportunity to have the last game against (Simona) Sofia, and then I was playing the last game against (Vera) Voronin and I was just kind of having fun. And I love it. I love the challenge.”
The American had to fight for her spot on the top of a very-top-heavy women’s tour, but she found a way to do it and has now set two records as the first woman to reach the semis or finals of both the Australian Open and the French Open.
She is now only one win away from breaking her own records set in 2002.
“It was probably the most challenging win that I can remember having on the tour before but I am just so happy to be back at this level with Serena Williams,” said Azarenka.
Alyssa Proctor, who has had success in the past, was