| STANFORD, California, July 10
STANFORD, California, July 10 Fatigue and a busy
schedule was not going to get in the way of Serena Williams
returning to the place she says launched her comeback and gave
her the confidence to believe she could win another grand slam.
Fresh off her fifth Wimbledon triumph, Williams is eager to
defend the Stanford Classic title she won in 2011 that signalled
her return after missing nearly a year recovering from serious
The triumph, which came on the heels of a last-16 loss at
that year's Wimbledon, was part of an 18-match win streak that
lasted until the U.S. Open final, where she fell to Australian
"This is the place that spurred me on last year," Williams,
who missed nearly a year of competition after dealing with a cut
foot and blood clot in her the lungs, told Reuters on Tuesday.
"I had a great summer, and that propelled me with getting a
lot of confidence and so that really helped, I definitely wanted
to come back and try to redo that, but maybe do 19 straight
(wins) this time."
Williams not only picked up her 14th grand slam singles
title at Wimbledon last Saturday, but she also won her 13th
grand slam doubles title with her older sister, Venus.
She then flew to California on Monday but was so jet lagged
that she woke up at 3:30 a.m. PDT (1030 GMT) on Tuesday and
Williams said her current schedule, which includes competing
in the July 27-Aug. 12 London Olympics, is among the most hectic
that she has had during her glittering career.
"My goal is to do well here first, and then go from there,"
said Williams. "I have the Olympics, gosh, I keep forgetting
about that, so gotta do [well there], and then I have the U.S.
Open, so it's a busy summer and it's halfway through, but it's
going so fast."
Williams, 30, became the first woman in her 30s to win
Wimbledon since Martina Navratilova won in 1990 at age 33.
She admittedly did not go into 2012 Wimbledon with a lot of
confidence as she had been stunned in the first round of the
French Open by Virginie Razzano, the only time she had lost in
the first round of a major in 47 attempts.
"I had a very tough week and just regaining my confidence
back, playing myself in and then just realizing to let that loss
go and recover and do the best that I can," she said.
After suffering a pulmonary embolism in early 2011, Williams
thought that she might never play tennis again, but said that
being faced with a life or death situation made her stronger and
increased her desire for further success.
"The process was tough, just going out there and never
giving up and having some tough losses in between, but realizing
that I belong on the tennis court more than anywhere else and I
do my best on the tennis court," she said.
The top-seeded Williams will open her Stanford Classic title
defence on Wednesday against collegiate champion Nicole Gibbs.
(Editing by Frank Pingue)