Serena Williams insists she is blocking out all thoughts of equalling Steffi Graf’s grand slam record as she prepares to face Germany’s Angelique Kerber in the Australian Open final.
Victory against Kerber would draw Williams level with Graf’s Open-era best 22 major titles while taking her own tally of Melbourne triumphs to five.
She is currently third in the all-time list after moving three clear of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova’s 18 but she remains short of Australian Margaret Court, who is out in front on 24.
Making history has not always come easily to Williams, who last year crumbled when two wins away from the calendar grand slam, which would have been a first since Graf’s in 1988.
Now on the brink of matching Graf again, Williams is desperate to keep focus.
‘I definitely block it out,’ Williams said.
‘I was one off last year too. If I don’t win on Saturday, I’ll still be one off. It took me forever to get to 18. I was so stressed out. I don’t want to relive that at all.’
Williams threatened to embarrass her semi-final opponent Agnieszka Radwanska on Thursday, annihilating the Pole 6-0 in a first set that took just 20 minutes.
The form of the American, who won 6-0 6-4 and is yet to drop a set so far, has fed the suspicion she is unstoppable in Saturday’s final.

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