Serena Williams knows not to look ahead. She learned it the hard way. Far and away the world’s best women’s tennis player, Serena nonetheless knows she can’t always count on that fact to bring her victory. Her seemingly inevitable march to a 22nd Grand Slam singles victory was halted last year in the US Open semifinals by the unlikely Roberta Vinci. Serena followed that up by getting to this year’s Final in both the Australian and the French, only to finish runner-up both times. Now into the quarterfinal at Wimbledon, Serena claims she’s focused exclusively on her next match — against the Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, seeded 21st.
Asked about that elusive 22nd Grand Slam title, which would tie her with Steffi Graf for most all-time, Serena says: “I’m not talking about that anymore.” Asked about what it would be like to once again face her resurgent sister Venus in the Wimbledon Finals, a matchup that will require two more wins from each sister, Serena asserted her willful shortsightedness: “Honestly I’m just focused on my next match,” she said.