‘My per­for­mance was in­ex­cus­able’

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport - Pra­jwal.Hegde @times­group.com Serena lost her fourth straight Grand Slam fi­nal — 2018, 2019 Wim­ble­don & 2018, 2019 US Open

New York: A dis­ap­pointed Serena Wil­liams said she lost the US Open, her fourth Ma­jor fi­nal since re­turn­ing from a dif­fi­cult pregnancy, as much as her teenaged op­po­nent Bianca An­dreescu had won it.

“I felt like I could’ve done so many things a lit­tle bit bet­ter. But she played re­ally well and deserves this cham­pi­onship,” Wil­liams said.

The 23-time ma­jor win­ner, one short of Aussie Mar­garet Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles, said she wasn’t nec­es­sar­ily chas­ing records. “I’m just try­ing to win Grand Slams,” she said.

The 37-year-old, mother of a two-year-old, shoul­dered arms to a ques­tion on the im­pact of four suc­ces­sive Grand Slam fi­nal losses.

She said” “I’m not happy, but I have to take it one mo­ment at a time. I hon­estly didn’t play my best today. I could have played bet­ter. That’s the only so­lace that I can take right now.”

Wil­liams, who had eight dou­ble faults and 33 un­forced er­rors in the fi­nal, said: “This was the worst match I’ve played all tour­na­ment. It’s hard to know that you could do bet­ter.”

Wil­liams, clearly strug­gling to digest the loss, asked her­self questions. “Okay, Serena, you lost serve maybe twice in the whole tour­na­ment, and you didn’t hit a first serve in today...,” she ar­gued with the six­time US Open cham­pion. “How do I play at a level like this in a fi­nal? Bianca ob­vi­ously played well. Her re­turns make me play bet­ter and puts pres­sure on my serve. At the same time, it’s in­ex­cus­able for me to play at that level.”

“It’s hard right now to take this and say, ‘It didn’t work out for you today, but you did okay, be­cause I don’t be­lieve I did. I be­lieve I could have played bet­ter. I be­lieve I could have done more. I be­lieve I could have just been more Serena.”

“I hon­estly don’t think Serena showed up. I have to kind of fig­ure out how to get her to show up in Grand Slam fi­nals,” she said, say­ing all four of her Ma­jor losses, two at Wim­ble­don and two here at the US Open in the last 14 months, were huge dis­ap­point­ments. “All of it is su­per frus­trat­ing. I’m so close, so close, so close, yet so far away.”

Wil­liams said she would need to keep at it. “I guess I got to keep go­ing if I want to be a pro­fes­sional tennis player. I got to keep fight­ing through it.”

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