6 Serena Williams Quotes About Winning That Will Inspire You To Push Yourself Harder

Over the next two weeks, all eyes will be on tennis superstar Serena Williams as she attempts to make sports history. Williams will compete against 126 other tennis pros at the annual U.S. Open in New York, and she's the favorite to win. Of course, that's nothing new: When it comes to women's tennis, no one has ever dominated like Serena Williams. The champion has won back-to-back titles in the grueling four-tournament Majors series so often that the feat has been named after her: The Serena Slam. But this time, all eyes will be on the champion as she tries to become the first player in 27 years to win all four Grand Slam titles in a single calendar year. At just 33 years old, she could make history at the U.S. Open, and these Serena Williams quotes about winning will get you pumped for that.

If you're surprised that Williams hasn't already broken that record, it's easy to imagine why. Since 2002, Williams has amassed 21 trophies in all four events — the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open. And Williams has won two Serena Slams before in her career. A win in New York would tie her record with Steffi Graf's for the second most Grand Slam titles in the history of women's tennis.

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Who holds the record for most wins? That would be Australian player Margaret Court, who earned 24 titles over her career. But only three women have managed to win all four events in the same calendar year: U.S. player Maureen Connolly Brinker in 1953, Margaret Court in 1970, and German Steffi Graf in 1988.

Few women in professional sports know as much about working hard, staying motivated, and bringing home a win than Serena Williams. So anytime you need to remember just how much of a badass you can be, these six quotes from Serena Williams on winning are the perfect essential reading.

On The Power Of Luck

Williams reportedly said in an ESPN interview that luck has little role in her success:

Luck has nothing to do with it, because I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come.

On Naming Your Goals

In a 2009 interview for The Guardian, Williams said her father told her and her sister, tennis champ Venus Williams, that dreams were nothing without a written roadmap:

He'd say if you fail to plan, you're planning to fail.

On Keeping Perspective

Earlier this month, Williams opened up to the The New York Times Magazine about challenging racism and sexism as a public figure. In that interview, Williams expressed the importance of opening doors for others:

We have to be thankful, and we also have to be positive about it so the next black person can be No. 1 on that list. Maybe it was not meant to be me. Maybe it's meant to be the next person to be amazing, and I'm just opening the door. Zina Garrison, Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe and Venus opened so many doors for me. I'm just opening the next door for the next person.

On Staying Focused

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After struggling with whether she played tennis because of her family or her fans, this quote from Williams' New York Times Magazine interview sums up the source of the superstar's focus:

I play for me, but I also play and represent something much greater than me. I embrace that. I love that. I want that. So ultimately, when I am out there on the court, I am playing for me.

On Moving Forward

In a May 2014 interview with Fitness Magazine, Williams explained that the key to winning was to move forward without second guessing the past:

I don't have regrets. I don't live in the past. I live in the present and learn not to make the same mistakes in the future.

On The Formula For Winning

Williams has started to speak publicly about life after tennis, including plans to unveil her signature collection at New York Fashion Week after the U.S. Open. According to The New York Times, the collection brings together everything the champion has learned about winning, including this bold statement:

Is greatness winning? Is it losing? Is it recovery? It's all of them, plus being good to yourself.