Williams: McHale battle made me realise I can play better


Serena Williams believes her battling second-round win over Christina McHale was influential in her battering of Annika Beck on Sunday.

World number one Williams was taken the distance in a disjointed display against McHale, but it was a different story in round three on Sunday as she hammered Beck 6-3 6-0 on Centre Court to earn a 300th career grand-slam victory.

It was a vintage showing from the American, who needed just 51 minutes to set up a fourth-round tie against Svetlana Kuznetsova.

And Williams says the slog she had to go through against McHale helped up her game against Beck.

"I think the McHale match really helped me," she said. 

"I felt like losing that first set so tight and her playing better than she's ever played in her life really helped me to realise that I can play better and I can lift my game to compete with people.

"I was definitely more efficient [than I have been this season]. I played really well in the first six matches in Australia, but it was definitely getting back to that [standard]." 

Initially it appeared as though Williams was in for another tough afternoon when Beck broke for a 2-1 lead early in the first set.

But it was a dominant showing in the second and Williams was delighted with the quality of her game.

"It [second-set performance] felt good. I wasn't sure what the stats were obviously, but on that last service game, I was thinking, have I lost on my first serve yet?  I wasn't sure, but I just tried to stay focused," she added.

"It gives me a lot of confidence.  I know what it takes to win these tournaments. It's just about now just doing it.

"I don't think I feel like I came out really slow.  I made a few errors, but at least I was going for my shots."