LONDON: Serena Williams is adamant she can cope with the pressure of going for a calendar Grand Slam as she eyes the third leg of the historic achievement at Wimbledon.
Williams has swept to Australian and French Open triumphs over the last six months and the world number one returns to the All England Club within two major titles of becoming the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1988 to claim the four top titles in one year.
The 33-year-old American also won the US Open to end 2014 on a high and is heavy favourite to continue that dominant run by taking the Wimbledon title for the sixth time in her illustrious career.
Her march to a momentous milestone has captured the public’s attention and Serena knows the eyes of the sporting world will be on her over the next fortnight.
But she insists she will have no problems with the extra attention and expectation because her mental toughness is a bigger strength than even her booming serve and over-powering groundstrokes.
“Personally it doesn’t make it feel any different, which I think is a good thing because I don’t feel any pressure to win all four,” Williams told reporters at Wimbledon on Saturday.
“I really don’t feel that pressure. Maybe if I would happen to win here, then maybe I might start feeling it after that.
“But for me being mentally tough is probably my biggest strength.
“Being the youngest of five children really made me have to scrap and be tougher.
“It’s great to have a big serve, too. Ultimately you could be the best player in the world, but you still get down and you have to be able to come back.”