Sat, May 24, 2003 - Page 19 News List

Serena leads the way to French Open


She has already bagged the "Serena Slam" and is undisputedly the world's best woman player but Serena Williams's appetite for success remains "insatiable."

When the fashion-savvy Serena struts on to the French Open stage next week, one thing is certain -- she will be aiming to cement her place among the tennis greats even more firmly.

Twelve months ago, Serena arrived in Paris with a suspect claycourt game and in the shadow of her elder sister Venus.

But after toiling away on the slow red clay for two weeks, Serena was crowned Roland Garros champion and launched her bid for tennis immortality.

"I am insatiable, I am never where I want to be, never satisfied," said Serena, who went on to sweep the next three grand slam titles to become only the fifth woman to hold all four trophies at once.

"All my life I have dreamed of being the best and doing the best. It hasn't always been easy for me and it is just so special the fact that I am making history right now."

While Serena was ecstatic with her achievement after triumphing at the Australian Open in January, her main target is to complete the more prestigious calendar-year grand slam.

Having failed in her bid to stay unbeaten all season -- she has lost twice this year -- the American will be determined not to fall short of her other goal for this year.

Among those hoping to end Serena's winning run will be Venus, world No. 2 Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin-Hardenne.

Beaten by Serena in each of the last four slam finals, Venus's photogenic smile has remained in place for the cameras but her patience must be wearing thin.

Hungry to create history herself, Venus has had to make do with the unwanted tag of becoming the first woman to lose four successive grand slam title matches after her defeat in Melbourne Park.

Frustrated that her last major success was at the US Open in 2001, Venus has been plotting her revenge.

"These are major championships at stake. This is history, a career. I don't want to be the player that won [just] four grand slams," Venus said.

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