Serena Williams insisted on Sunday she does not think of herself as one of the sport’s greats despite claiming her 12th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.
The American beat Belgium’s Justine Henin in a classic women’s final 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 to win her fifth Australian Open title and move alongside Billie-Jean King on 12 Grand Slam singles successes.
She is now six titles behind Americans Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova and seven behind Helen Wills Moody in the all-time Grand Slam stakes.
Australian Margaret Smith Court, who presented Williams with her trophy on Saturday, is the all-time leader on 24, with German Steffi Graf on 22.
But Williams said she did not think her name belonged on the same page as the greats of the game.
“I don’t even think of me as a great, I think of me just as normal,” the 28-year-old said. “I remember when I won eight and I thought it was so cool — eight Grand Slams!
“Now I’ve got 12 and, oh my gosh, it’s so cool.”
As well as her five Australian titles –—a record in the Open era — she has also won one French Open, three Wimbledons and three US Opens.
Despite taking to the court with both ankles, her right knee, left thigh and one wrist heavily bandaged, she won both the singles and doubles titles — with sister Venus — in Melbourne.
And she said she had no intention of slowing down in her quest for more major successes.
“I don’t see an end now. I feel like [I’ll keep playing] as long as I’m happy and I want to do it and I enjoy being out there,” she said. “Sometimes I think it gets a little bit redundant, but I really love playing the Slams.” AFP