- Mich. judge to laughing convicted killer: ‘I hope you die in prison’
- Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings
- Keystone XL pipeline still on hold after State Dept. decision
- Fla. man charged with killing 16-month-old son to play Xbox undisturbed
- Drones from the deep: Pentagon develops ocean-floor attack robots
- Michigan mayor slaps back atheists’ try to erect ‘reason station’ at city hall
- PHILLIPS: Where is the conservative establishment?
- 7.5-magnitude earthquake shakes southern Mexico
- ISTOOK: IRS “wants to throw us in jail,” says tea party leader
- Easter woes: Chocolate costs soar, becoming ‘unaffordable’ luxury
Serena Williams: Best still to come after French Open title
PARIS — Serena Williams thinks her best years may still be ahead of her at the age of 31.
She overcame stubborn resistance from defending champion Maria Sharapova in the French Open final Saturday to clinch her 16th Grand Slam title, beating the Russian 6-4, 6-4 and extending her own winning streak to 31 matches.
“I want to go out in my peak. That’s my goal. But have I peaked yet?” Williams said. “I definitely want to continue my journey to get a few more.”
Williams has some way to go before retiring, then, and a long way to go to match Australian Margaret Court’s 24 major titles. But she will catch Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert by the end of the year if she wins Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
That would then leave Helen Wills Moody (19), Steffi Graf (22) and Court — who may just be a little too far off to catch.
“I always said that I felt like I have never played my best tennis. I have said that for years, that I feel like I can always do better and play better,” Williams said. “The day I feel that I cannot improve, it’s going to be a problem for me. I’m going to have to debate whether I should keep playing. But I feel like as of know I can do a lot of things better.”
Williams‘ elation on clinching her second French Open title almost made up for her despondency after her shocking first-round loss to 111th-ranked Virgine Razzano at Roland Garros last year.
“I’m still a little bit upset about that,” Williams said. “If I lose all hell breaks loose, literally.”
Both Sharapova and Williams started their careers with a bang, winning their first Grand Slam titles when they were 17: Sharapova a few months younger at Wimbledon in 2004 than Williams was at the U.S. Open in 1999.
“If you’re at that stage in your life where you still are motivated to go out and win tennis matches … that’s an amazing effort,” Sharapova said.
Sharapova was briefly on top — up 2-0, 40-15 early in the match — but Williams took control.
“She’s doing what she’s always done extremely well, but she’s just doing it on a much more consistent level,” Sharapova said. “She’s always had a good serve.”
Williams had three aces in her last service game and 10 overall, compared to two for Sharapova.
“I am not the tallest girl on tour,” Williams said. “I use my height in a very effective way, and I use it to the fullest of my ability.”
Sharapova has lost 13 consecutive times to Williams and won only three sets in those defeats. She wants now to focus on where she feels most comfortable — on grass.
“I love all the tournaments that are coming up, especially Wimbledon,” she said. “When I get to the grass I always feel that motivation.”
If they both reach the Wimbledon final, the roles will be reversed, with Williams as defending champion and Sharapova the challenger.
- Harry Reid blasts Bundy ranch supporters as 'domestic terrorists'
- Immigration still on hold: Boehner's office
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
- Supreme Court weighs appeal to concealed-carry gun laws
- PRUDEN: When a bored president just 'mails it in'
- Nancy Pelosi washes immigrants' feet in humble Holy Week act then promotes on Twitter
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- BRUCE: Obama deliberately emboldening America's enemies
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Critics rail against liberal bias for commencement speakers
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.