"No one's done that since Steffi Graf"- When Serena Williams told Chris Evert the moment she felt aware of her place in history
Evert interviewed Serena before the 2015 Australian Open. At the time, Serena Williams had won 18 Grand Slam singles titles and was asked about the moment in her career when she felt aware of her place in history.
Williams told Evert that she felt she had sealed her place in the history books after winning four successive Majors (2002 French Open - 2003 Australian Open) as no one had done that since Steffi Graf in 1988. Serena said:
"Without trying to pontificate, I think when I won four in a row, even if it wasn't in the same year, I thought 'Man, no one's done that since Steffi Graf so I am booked.' I felt pretty good about that and it was a monumental moment for me."
"I never dreamt I would go this far. It was never in my goals, it was never in my imagination. It was just, I'm here and now I have 18 and I don't know when it happened or how it happened but it happened."
"I'm going to try to catch up with Steffi"- Serena Williams
Back in the same interview in 2015, Chris Evert asked Serena Williams how far she was aiming to go. Serena responded by saying that she would try to catch up with Steffi Graf's tally of 22 Grand Slam titles. She said:
"Obviously I'm going for the gusto, I'm going to try to catch up with Steffi but right now, I am really focused on No. 19."
Evert asked Serena about her plans for the 2015 Australian Open and the latter replied by saying that she would train harder and would place extra focus on every match. She said in the interview:
"That's what I've been asking myself all year, starting around June, 'What am I going to do different going into Australia, I have not won Australia, why not'?"
She further said:
"So, I'm just gonna train harder. I started a week earlier, I'm just gonna be reeally focused for every match, not that I wasn't focused for every match but I'm really gonna really, really, really focus on every match."
Serena Williams eventually went on to win the 2015 Australian Open by defeating Maria Sharapova 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the final. This was her sixth title at the Asia-Pacific Major and her first since 2010.