Serena Williams reflected on a “cool milestone” after equalling Martina Navratilova’s Open-era record for grand slam women’s singles wins.
Williams moved level with Navratilova’s 306 major tournament victories by easing past fellow American Vania King 6-3 6-3 in the second round at Flushing Meadows.
The world number one has never lost before round three at the US Open and, with Beyonce and Jay-Z watching on in Arthur Ashe Stadium, she was delighted to reach Navratilova’s mark.
“Sometimes I don’t even know that I’m hitting these milestones,” Williams said.
“But some of them I’m really proud of. Like this one’s kind of cool, to win 306. That’s really a cool milestone.
“Martina was just an incredible legend. For me, one of the best players to ever play tennis.
“Someone that I never even thought I could be as good as numbers-wise. So, yeah, that’s what I think of her.”
Williams is bidding to achieve another milestone in New York, where success would see her overtake Steffi Graf’s Open-era record 22 grand slam singles titles.
The top seed was not at her blistering best against her King, making 28 unforced errors, but this was her second straight-sets victory and she was in control throughout.
“I just think it should have been a different scoreline for me. I feel like I made a lot of errors,” Williams said.
“I just didn’t have a great day today. But it’s always good to get a win when you’re not playing well. I definitely don’t think I played the way I did in my first round.”
Williams will now face Sweden’s Johanna Larsson for a place in the last 16 and the 34-year-old insists her troublesome right shoulder is still holding up.
“It’s stable. I just got to keep it like that,” Williams said.