Serena Williams has her eyes on history. The American tennis player is on the brink of breaking yet another record as she prepares to be one of the only athletes in history to get a calendar Grand Slam. The focus of the 2015 US Open is Williams and her quest for history which would likely make her go down as the greatest tennis player of the game. It all starts with Round 1 and a match against the 86th-ranked Vitalia Diatchenko.
There is no question that Williams has a target on her back. The world No.1 player is the one to beat as she aims to get the first calendar Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988. The pressure is high as Williams tries to downplay the amount of attention she is facing with this tournament. The tennis star told the media that she is taking this tournament match by match and is not focused on the bigger picture and all that is at stake when she steps on the court for the first time.
Williams does not have an easy path to the finals which might be why she is opting not to think about it. ESPN's Brad Gilbert called it a "brutal draw" for the American going forward. There is a chance she faces Venus Williams while also likely to go up against one of the best younger players of the tournament, Sloane Stephens. All of that makes a difficult path to the top, but certainly one that is attainable.
The first match for Williams is against Diatchenko who came to the tournament with no coach or family behind her. The 25-year-old Russian certainly would be the biggest story of the tournament if she were to come out with a win. Diatchenko told the media that she was excited at the idea of facing Williams and was simply hoping to have a few fans in the stands when the match begins.
First of all, I was happy, because she is one of my favorite players," Diatchenko said, via the New York Times. "I can say she was my idol. When I started to play tennis, she was already showing how to play an aggressive game. For me, it's a chance to feel how I can play with her, and try to play my best. So in one way, I'm happy. In another way, I just need to play good."
Williams has everything to lose in this match while Diatchenko has everything to gain. The pressure is on as tennis fans hope history is just around the corner.