No end in sight for veteran Serena

Serena Williams (AFP)
Serena Williams (AFP)

Melbourne - World number one Serena Williams on Tuesday said she was enjoying her tennis immensely and plans to keep playing into the 2017 season, proud of her longevity as others have fallen by the wayside.

The 34-year-old winner of 21 Grand Slams has already cemented her status as one of the all-time greats, if not the greatest.

With Steffi Graf's Open-era record of 22 major titles within sight at the Australian Open, and Margaret Court's all-time mark of 24 on the horizon, she has no plans to hang up her racquet.

"I don't think so. Hopefully not. Unless you know something I don't know," she said when asked if this could be her last Australian Open.

The dominant Williams, who beat rival Maria Sharapova for the 18th straight time to make the last four, made her professional debut in 1995 and few players from that era remain on tour, aside from sister Venus.

The Melbourne Park top seed, who next faces Agnieszka Radwanska, is proud to still be playing and at the top of her game.

"I think longevity is something definitely to look at. Personally, I didn't think I'd be playing at this age," she said as she guns for a seventh Australian Open crown.

"But I'm still here and I'm doing well. I think that's the reason I am still playing, because I know that I'm capable, you know, if I play well, of being on top."

Despite remaining an invincible force, the driven American said she had learned to relax and was enjoying her tennis greatly now that the clock was ticking on her career.

"I think this tournament in particular I've been trying to do different things and I've been having a lot of fun on the court," she said.

"I told myself that I'm here to have fun now. I've done everything... I didn't think I would have done as well as I have.

"Everything from here on out, every match, is a bonus for me. I don't have to win this tournament or any other tournament for as long as I live.

"I really want to enjoy being a professional tennis player and playing on Grand Slam courts, moments like this."

Asked what the secret was to her longevity, she replied: "I honestly have no idea. If I do know it, I'll probably put it in a bottle and distribute it."

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