Australian Open Women’s QF:
A comeback from her pregnancy which has been ongoing for 16 months is proving to be a huge challenge for Serena Williams.
And after losing a 5-1 lead in the final set against Karolina Pliskova, the 37-year-old 23-time Grand Slam winner is ready to “go psycho” the next time she’s in a similar winning position.
“Williams said that Pliskova, who reached No. 1 a few seasons ago, played “lights-out” tennis to beat her.”
“The next time I’m up 5-1 against anybody I just need to make sure I play lights-out when I have match points.”
The seven-time Melbourne winner added: “It’s little things like that that I used to do. It’s a good learning experience to know the next time that I have match point, like, Okay, just like go psycho on it”
The clock is ticking for Williams, who won her last Grand Slam at the Australian Open two years ago and has since stalled as she tries to level the all-time mark of 24 singles trophies at the majors.
Williams played down an ankle she rolled while failing on a match point in the seventh game of the final set; she said she needs to realise that her comeback is a project requiring many more months.
“It’s definitely not easy for me. From day one, I expect to go out and, quite frankly, to win,” Williams said 10 months after returning to the courts.
“That hasn’t happened. But I do like my attitude. It’s like ‘I’ve only been playing ten months, but I expect to win, and if I don’t, it’s disappointing.’
“I know that it’s going to happen sooner or later and I don’t like making excuses.”
After rolling her ankle, Williams did not win another point on serve as Pliskova swept seven straight games to move into the semi-finals and a match with Naomi Osaka.
Williams said she’s not stressing about trying to win her 24th singles title at a major.
“(My next chance) would be Roland Garros, we’ll see.
“I’m thinking that I should win (major titles), which is not practical”
“But I know there’s a lot of things that I need to do to get better. Ten months, soon to be 11 months, soon it will be 12 months. It just takes time.”
Osaka said she was not distracted by a hampered opponent across the net.