I'm not a legend yet, insists Serena

Serena Williams captured her 11th Grand Slam title, but insisted that she cannot yet be considered as one of the greatest players of all time.

updated: July 06, 2009 06:56 IST
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Serena Williams captured her 11th Grand Slam title and a third Wimbledon crown, but insisted that she cannot yet be considered as one of the greatest players of all time.

Her 7-6 (7/3), 6-2 win over sister Venus, which gave the Williams family an eighth Wimbledon triumph in 10 years, put her just one behind American compatriot Billie Jean King in the all-time list of majors.

Further ahead on the honours board are Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, both with 18, Helen Wills Moody, who won 19, Steffi Graf, 22, and Australia's Margaret Court Smith, 24.

"Since the beginning of my career, I never said I wanted to chase down their records, that's a long way away," said the 27-year-old.

"You're asking me about 18 titles. I'm only at 11. They're such great players. When I think of those people, I don't really mention myself yet."

However, Serena will go level with King if she wins the US Open later this year in New York, a mark which would make her particularly proud.

"To win 11 is unbelievable. It's just now I'm looking at the next goal of someone like Billie Jean King, who is completely my idol. To get to her level and have 12 would be even better," said the champion.

Much to her irritation, Serena will remain world number two when the latest world rankings are released on Monday, and she couldn't resist the urge to once again hit out at the system.

Dinara Safina will keep the top ranking spot despite the Russian still not having won a major and who was humiliated in the semi-finals here when she won just one game against Venus.

"I think if you hold three Grand Slam titles maybe you should be No. 1, but not on the WTA Tour obviously," said Serena.

"My motivation is maybe just to win another Grand Slam and stay No. 2, I guess. It's shocking. I'd rather definitely be No. 2 and hold three Grand Slams in the past year than be No. 1 and not have any."

Serena then mocked Safina's ascent to the top of the world rankings.

"I see myself as No. 2. That's where I am. I think Dinara did a great job to get to No. 1. She won Rome and Madrid.....," she said before making a desperate attempt to limit the damage from her remarks.

"If I'd have done better at the French Open, like got to the semifinals, maybe things would have been different. But, honestly I'm not picking on anybody. Everyone works hard.

"I think the girl, Dinara, who is No. 1, you can clearly see by her physique how hard she works. You can't get anywhere by not doing the best and not working your hardest.

"So, I'm happy for her but I'm really excited that I won Wimbledon. I don't know what to do to be No. 1. I don't even care anymore. I'm just happy to be here."

Venus's Grand Slam total remains on seven - five Wimbledons and two US Opens.

The Australian and French Open titles remain elusive to the 29-year-old.

"I definitely am looking forward to the other majors. I have three more before this one comes back," said Venus whose saw her run of 34 successive winning sets at Wimbledon brought to an end by her sister.

"I also enjoy playing those, too. I'm looking forward to them."