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Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Saturday, 3 July 2010 18:14 UK

Wimbledon 2010: Serena Williams plays down praise

Wimbledon Championships - Women's Final
Venue: All England Club, London Date: Saturday 3 July, 1400 BST
Coverage:
Live on BBC One, HD, BBC Sport website (UK only), 5 live sports extra; live text commentary online and on mobile phones; watch again on BBC iPlayer Full details of BBC coverage

Serena Williams

Serena happy with historic Wimbledon victory

By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Serena Williams insists she is not concerned about where she ranks among the great players in the game after winning her fourth Wimbledon title.

The American beat Vera Zvonareva 6-3 6-2 to secure a 13th Grand Slam title, taking her past Billie Jean King to sixth in the all-time list.

Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova are next on the list with 18 Slams each.

But Williams said: "I'm happy to win 13. You never know what tomorrow brings and I'm happy to have gotten this far."

King was in the Centre Court royal box to see her mark of 12 Grand Slam titles overtaken, and Williams said: "This one means a lot because it's 13 and I was able to pass Billie, that's always nice. I don't know where it rates but to have four Wimbledons is really, really exciting."

I didn't show my best and it's a bit disappointing because it's the final, and you don't reach the Wimbledon final every day

Vera Zvonareva

And asked about how concerned she is to be considered among the great players, she added: "It's definitely important. I never thought about it but I think I'd be mentioned regardless of whether I won here or not. It's cool.

"I don't think about that kind of stuff. My thing is I love my dogs, I love my family, I love going to the movies, I love reading, I love going shopping - it's not on my list to be the greatest.

"At the end of the day, I'd love to open more schools in Africa or the United States. I would love to help people and be remembered, 'Yeah, she was a tennis player but she really did a lot to inspire other people.'

"That's what I think about, not 'I'm Serena Williams and I won X amount of Grand Slams.'"

Williams was in superb form at the All England Club, sweeping through all seven matches without dropping a set, but she admitted: "I honestly didn't think I was going to win this tournament because I felt like my strokes were off, especially in practice.

"I just felt like I was connecting late and I'm really happy to have got through it."

606: DEBATE

Martina Navratoliva said before the final that Williams has the best serve in the history of the women's game, but despite hitting 89 aces in the tournament the champion herself was not about to agree it is the best ever.

"Is that what it's dubbed now?" she said. "I have a really consistent serve and I might not hit it as hard (as some) but I place it really well."

And the 28-year-old said she has no timetable for the rest of her career, saying: "I just try to stay healthy and do the best that I can, I never try to think about how long I'm going to play.

"Will I still be playing at 38? If I am, I want you to escort me off the court. There's no way I need to be out here at 38."

Zvonareva had been a huge underdog going into her first Grand Slam final against the three-time champion but was not about to make excuses for her swift defeat.

Vera Zvonareva

Zvonareva frustrated by her form

"I think it's great to be in the final and I'll realise that later but at the moment I think I'm still a bit disappointed with the performance today," said the 25-year-old. "Not with the result but more the way I played, I think I could have done better.

"I didn't show my best and it's a bit disappointing because it's the final, and you don't reach the Wimbledon final every day. But Serena played really well, she didn't really give me a chance to get into the match."

Williams fired nine aces past the Russian, who failed to force a single break point, but Zvonareva would not entertain the thought that the American was all but invincible on the grass.

"She's beatable - she's a human being, not a machine," she said. "It's very difficult to beat her, you have to play your best, but you can do it."

And after a long struggle with injuries, Zvonareva was keen to look ahead after finally reaching a Grand Slam final.

"It was definitely a good experience for me," she said. "It's been a great week and hopefully it can help me in the future."



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see also
Serena seals fourth Wimbledon win
03 Jul 10 |  Tennis
BBC pundits on Wimbledon final
03 Jul 10 |  Tennis
Women's final as it happened
03 Jul 10 |  Tennis
Wimbledon - day 13 photos
04 Jul 10 |  Tennis
Zvonareva suffers second defeat
03 Jul 10 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Tennis


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