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4:48PM

She's Just Being Serena

by JAMES HENRY

CINCINNATI – Ever had one of those days? Well, “pull a Serena” and turn it around.

In her quarterfinal showdown against Ana Ivanovic at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, a rematch of last year’s final, that’s just what Serena Williams did.

The defending champion dropped the first set and then fell behind 3-4. But she rallied to break Ivanovic’s serve five times and dominated the last six games to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Williams said she had to “pull a Serena.” So what exactly is that?

“It's like when you're down and maybe down a break in a set and a set, and you ‘pull a Serena’ is when you come back and win,” the World No. 1 explained. “Coming back from that is called ‘a Serena.’”

Williams said she strives to do her best, never giving up.

“I just keep going and keep trying,” the 33-year-old said. “It feels good. It's like I definitely want to be out there to do the best that I can, and it feels like I'm in a zone. I like to be in that zone.”

But there’s no place in that space for controversy, like the kind now pervading the ATP World Tour as some male tennis players exchange insults on and off the court.

“I’m not involved in no drama. My drama days is over. But if you want to spill the tea, I'm ready to hear,” Williams laughed.

Instead, the superstar athlete is focused on making history.

Williams, who already has 21 Grand Slam singles titles, will become the first player since Steffi Graf in 1988 to win the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in a calendar year if she is victorious in New York next month.

As she gets closer to that milestone, Williams is grateful for Graf’s backing.

“I see her post things about me, and that's pretty awesome. I really am still like a kid when I see her or I see posts. I get super excited. I'm still living the dream,” she said. “Yeah, she's been really supportive, which is so great to see, you know, and to feel that support.”

Williams plans to return that cheer when future generations try to match her own accomplishments and chase the records that she now is setting.

“I think it will be great. I think it's amazing. I think I would be really supportive, like Steffi is of me. It's such a great feeling,” she said. “I always want to see people do well and be successful and be the best that they can be. I think it will be really cool.”

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