July 15, 2008

Serena hungry for another Grand Slam Crown / Olympic Medal

By Matthew Cronin

STANFORD, California, July 14 (Reuters) - Serena Williams is adamant she does not plan on ending 2008 without a grand slam title or an Olympic gold medal. The top seed at this week's Stanford Classic, Williams has had what many players on the WTA tour would consider a good season, winning in Bangalore, Miami and Charleston.

However, she has fallen short at the grand slams, losing to Jelena Jankovic in Melbourne, Katarina Srebotnik at Paris and then against older sister Venus at Wimbledon earlier this month."I can't say I'm pleased with my year because I haven't won any grand slams this year," Williams told Reuters on Monday. "That's always been the goal for me." I didn't play well in Australia, the French I shot myself in the foot and at Wimbledon I couldn't get it together in the final."So I have to win something eventually. I feel like I should be able to win for the most part and sometimes I get disgusted because I didn't make the right shots, or made a lot of errors."I don't like to lose. I'm a perfectionist and feel like I should be the best at what I do."

The 26-year-old, who has won eight grand slam singles titles, though the last was at the 2007 Australian Open, admitted she had perked up after losing in the Wimbledon final to combine with her sister and claim the doubles crown."It would have sucked if I lost the doubles, too," Serena said. "I had to get over (the singles). Venus played better than I did, but I didn't play my best."Serena, who has been hampered by injuries in recent years, has embarked upon a heavy schedule on the North American hardcourt circuit and is scheduled to play Stanford, Los Angeles and Montreal before heading to Beijing for the Olympics.She will then travel to the U.S. Open in New York.

"I'm feeling good," the fifth ranked Williams said. "I have goals and have almost no points coming off this summer. I can only move ahead."The Williams sisters combined for the Olympic gold medal in doubles at the 2000 Games in Sydney, but Serena missed the 2004 games in Athens due to an injury and she admitted a singles medal at Beijing was a target."The Olympics and U.S. Open are hovering," said Williams, who is scheduled to play her opening match at Stanford on Wednesday."I think I'll be ready for them."

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