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Page last updated at 13:39 GMT, Saturday, 31 January 2009

Serena relief at 10th Grand Slam

Serena Williams
Williams is now targeting the French Open and Wimbledon titles

Serena Williams was relieved to reach a landmark 10th Grand Slam singles title by capturing the Australian Open crown with a 6-0 6-3 win over Dinara Safina.

The American is only the seventh woman to notch up 10 major singles titles.

"I'm so excited to win because I felt I really needed it," said Williams, 27, a three-time Australian Open winner.

"I wanted to get to 10 and opportunities sometimes don't present themselves twice, but I felt like this was my chance to take it."

Williams notched up back-to-back Grand Slam victories by adding a fourth Australian Open title to the third US Open crown she won last September.

The American is now planning a repeat of her "Serena Slam" where she held all four Grand Slam titles at once, but not in the same calendar year.

Williams won the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open in 2002, adding the Australian crown in 2003.

"It would be great to win more than one, more than two Grand Slams this year, more than three," she commented.

606: DEBATE
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"That would be awesome and obviously my sights are on doing well in Paris.

"I didn't do well at all last year. So when I get there, I won't have that much to lose and I'll just be really relaxed."

Williams, who also climbed back to the world number one spot, insisted she had no plans to slow down her quest for more Grand Slam crowns.

There was speculation that her best days were behind her after she dropped out of the world's top 100 in 2006 because of an ongoing ankle injury.

But Williams says she is now focused on another era of dominance: "I feel like I can go forever.

"I always talk to [sister] Venus and we're like 'we're going to play forever'.

"I definitely feel I have so many years to play and I think I'm playing pretty well too."

I lost the match, and now it's back to training - I don't see any reason to panic

Dinara Safina

Safina, who was playing in her second Grand Slam final, explained the pressure of playing for a major title and the world number one ranking got the better of her.

"It was the first time for me to play not only for the Grand Slam but also for the top spot," said the 22-year-old.

"I have never been through this situation and (Serena) has already. I would say she was much more experienced than I was today stepping on the court.

"I was not able maybe to show my game, you know. It's also very disappointing."

But Safina, sister of men's 2005 Australian Open champion Marat Safin, insisted she would bounce back from a second defeat in a Grand Slam final.

"There is much more positive than negative," said the Russian, who lost the 2008 French Open final to Ana Ivanovic.

"I lost the match, and now it's back to training. I don't see any reason to panic or to make a thousand thoughts in my mind.

"I hope it's not the last one, you know. I still have time."



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see also
Serena regains Aussie Open crown
31 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Serena v Safina as it happened
31 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Aussie Open day 13 photos
31 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Venus & Serena win doubles title
30 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Aussie Open day 13 quotes
31 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Order of play
19 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
29 Jan 09 |  Tennis


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