Serena Williams is no stranger to ambitious goals but the 23-time grand slam winner has set her most lofty target yet: claiming the Australian Open title just “three months” after giving birth.
The American announced she was 20 weeks pregnant in April, shocking the sporting world given she won January’s Australian Open.
But if winning a grand slam in the early stages of pregnancy was a big effort, doing so so soon after giving birth seems a herculean task.
Williams has made a habit of doing the amazing, though, in a glittering career that has seen her dominate women’s tennis in a fashion no player in the Open era has.
And she announced she wants to compete in next year’s grand slam Down Under in a lengthy interview with Vogue, even though she admitted it was “outrageous”.
“It’s the most outrageous plan,” Williams said.
“I just want to put that out there. That’s like, three months after I give birth.
“I’m not walking anything back, but I’m just saying that’s pretty intense.”
Williams has been keeping busy despite her pregnancy, trying to keep as fit as possible with a series of exercise routines.
And she hasn’t stopped hitting tennis balls either, using her time wisely in a bid to make a quick − and immediate − return to the top of women’s tennis.
Williams added that she has learned a great deal from watching tennis on television during the last few months.
“I learn by watching,” she said. “Or I watch old matches of myself on the Tennis Channel.
“I hit amazing shots, and these girls are running them down and hitting winners, and I’m beginning to see why. It’s because I have patterns.”
Williams is famous for her competitive streak and is insistent she will be a force when she returns to tennis − even that if it isn’t at the 2018 Australian Open.
“I’ll tell you this much − I won’t win less [when I return],” she said. “Either I win, or I don’t play.”
Williams, who is still ranked 15th in the world despite not playing since January, has won an incredible 72 singles titles on the WTA Tour.
She remains a highly accomplished doubles player, having won 14 grand slam titles in that format with her older sister, Venus.
But it is in the singles where Williams has dominated most, with the 35-year-old just one grand slam shy of Australian Margaret Court’s long-standing record of 24.
It might just be a record she levels at Melbourne Park next January.