MELBOURNE, Australia – Serena Williams sent out a positive message after exiting the Australian Open in the third round, indicating that she believes winning a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam singles title is “definitely” possible.
The American has been chasing Margaret Court’s record of since notching up her 23rd in Melbourne three years ago, notably suffering defeats in four finals.
After winning in Auckland to begin 2020, her first title in three years, there was optimism that she might go on and win an eighth Australian Open, yet she was stunned by No.27 seed Wang Qiang, 6-4, 6-7(2), 7-5.
Asked if she still retains a belief that she can still match or surpass Court’s record, she replied: “I definitely do believe or I wouldn't be on tour. I don't play just to have fun. To lose is really not fun.
“I seem to do well the last two slams of the year. I have won them both several times. Each one is definitely an opportunity for me to go out there and win.
“It's not even about the slams, it's about just me playing good tennis, and I didn't do that today. That is more disappointing. So it's not even about the win, it's just more about I'm better than that. That is what it is for me today.”
And the 38-year-old says she has no plans to follow her friend Caroline Wozniacki into retirement.
“I feel like I'm on the way up, so we'll see,” she said. “I'm not even thinking about anything, about not being here next year.”
One woman who will not be present in Melbourne next year in a playing capacity is Wozniacki, who bowed out of the professional game following a loss to Ons Jabeur.
“She came into the locker room afterwards. We were both kind of bummed about our matches,” she said.
“She's had an amazing career. I’m getting emotional! I’m going to miss her.
“She's one of my best friends in the world. We have a great life for the rest of our lives together, but I'm going to miss her out on tour.”