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Wed Apr 16 20:57:45 SAST 2014

Serena not following Roddick into retirement

Sapa-AFP | 31 August, 2012 08:360 Comments
*** BESTPIX ***  2012 US Open - Day 4
Serena Williams of the United States looks on against Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain during their women's singles second round match on Day Four of the 2012 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 30, 2012 in the Flushing neigborhood of the Queens borough of New York City
Image by: Al Bello / Getty Images

Serena Williams has no plans to follow Kim Clijsters and Andy Roddick into retirement after the US Open, the 14-time Grand Slam champion saying their departures makes her more determined to keep going.

US fourth seed Williams, coming off titles at Wimbledon and the Olympics in the past two months, advanced to the third round of the US Open with a 6-2, 6-4 triumph over Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez on Thursday.

  After the victory, she pondered Wednesday’s retirement of three-time US Open winner Kim Clijsters of Belgium and 2003 US Open champion Andy Roddick’s announcement on Thursday that this would be his final tournament.

  “It makes me want to stay more,” Williams said. “It doesn’t make me say, ’Oh I should retire.’ No. I wouldn’t have anything to do.”  Williams said she felt the departure of Clijsters more than she expected.

  “Losing Kim was so hard. I saw her yesterday. I just hugged her. My eyes got watery. I really like her. She is a great person,” Williams said.

  “I didn’t expect that reaction but she definitely will be missed on tour. I didn’t realize how much until yesterday. Andy as well.”  In part, it’s because Williams will lose two valued friends in the jet-set world of tennis touring, one of her oldest being Roddick.

  “It’s very incredibly sad for me to lose a friend on tour that I look forward to seeing every Grand Slam. It’s going to be hard,” Williams said.

  “I know a lot of people look up to Andy Roddick. That’s who I want to be like.” 

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