Hungry Serena Williams has no plans on slowing down in her relentless pursuit of Margaret Smith Court’s all-time record grand slam tally.
Confessing only to being able to sleep easier after finally matching Steffi Graf’s open-era benchmark 22 majors with a seventh Wimbledon crown, the insatiable American said she still hoped to rack up titles for years time to come.
“It doesn’t get boring. As long as I’m winning, it doesn’t get boring,” the 34-year-old said as she celebrated her watershed 7-5 6-3 win over Angelique Kerber in Saturday’s quality singles final with a sixth Wimbledon doubles victory with older sister Venus.
But if Williams’ rivals hoped her fourth title double at the All England Club may have been the strawberries and cream on top of an extraordinary career, they better think again.
“Who said that our age is old? Who put that stipulation on it? ‘Cause it’s working for us,” the world No.1 said after securing the family a 12th singles trophy at the All England Club in 17 years and completing a Williams seventh singles and doubles double.
“When you’re great, you are greedy because you want more and you want to keep going back to the table and you want to eat more and eat more.
“You don’t want enough. You don’t get enough.
“I would obviously like to keep it up for as long as I’m still out here playing professional tennis.”
Serena at least admitted to feeling “great relief” at catching Graf after Kerber had denied her the milestone in this year’s Australian Open final before Garbine Muguruza thwarted her again in last month’s French Open decider.
“It’s been incredibly difficult not to think about it,” Williams said.
“I have definitely had some sleepless nights, if I’m just honest, with a lot of stuff. Coming so close. Feeling it, not being able to quite get there.
Once considered untouchable, Smith Court’s all-time record of 24 singles slams is now within sight and Williams could conceivably equal the Australian legend in Melbourne in January.
Already the oldest ever women’s grand slam winner, Williams’ latest success earned her an amazing ninth slam since turning 30 and suffering a life-threatening pulmonary embolism in 2011.
Underlining her incredible longevity and dominance over three generations of challengers, Kerber was her 14th grand slam final victim – at a time when most champions are long retired – since winning her first in 1999 aged 17.
The ageless champion’s scalps represent a who’s who of pretenders to her throne over two decades.
Martina Hingis, Maria Sharapova, sister Venus, Lindsay Davenport, Jelena Jankovic, Dinara Safina, Vera Zvonareva, Justine Henin, Agnieszka Radwanska, Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki, Lucie Safarova, Garbine Muguruza and now Kerber have all succumbed to Williams’ unrivalled serving excellence, raw power and competitive fire.
Graf welcomed Williams’ “incredible” victory with a congratulatory message on Facebook.
“Such a gift to all sport fans who get to continue to watch her add to an already amazing career #22,” the German posted.
Not that she needed it, but Williams pocketed cheques totalling STG2,275,000 ($A3.93 million) for her fortnight’s work, taking women’s sport’s highest-ever on-court earner’s prize money to $106.75 million.