Serena Williams completed a clean sweep of her singles matches at the mixed teams Hopman Cup in Perth on Thursday as she prepares for her bid to make Grand Slam history at the Australian Open.
The 23-time major winner was made to work a little harder than expected by young Brit Katie Boulter in the United States’ final group tie, but prevailed in straight sets to make it three victories from as many outings down under.
However, the 37-year-old’s perfect singles record this week wasn’t enough to keep the USA in contention at what is expected to be the last Hopman Cup, where she has twice been a winner.
Williams and Frances Tiafoe were already eliminated after losing their opening two ties.
Watched by her daughter Alexis Olympia, Williams’ 6-1, 7-6 (7/2) win over the 97th-ranked Boulter followed victories over former top 10 player Belinda Bencic and Greece’s Maria Sakkari earlier in the week.
Currently ranked 16th, Williams needs just one more Grand Slam singles title to equal the record of Australian Margaret Court, but hasn’t won a major since the Australian Open in 2017.
She gave birth to her daughter in late 2017 and was beaten in the Wimbledon and US Open finals last year.
With the Australian Open in Melbourne less than two weeks away, Williams believes the round robin format of the event was ideal preparation for Melbourne.
“It was definitely good to play three singles matches here, not to mention the mixed,” she said after her singles match.