World number one Serena Williams believes all her hard work is starting to pay off after securing a place in the final of the US Open on Sunday.
Williams has not been able to dominate at the Grand Slams this season with her best result so far coming in the first of the season at the Australian Open.
The American big hitter reached the fourth round in Melbourne before crashing out of the French Open in round two and only reached the third round at Wimbledon.
However, Williams insists she is not shocked to have made it to the final in her homeland after working hard from the beginning at SW19 earlier this year.
The 32-year-old admitted that she was surprised to have dropped out of the grass-court competition so early on, but believes the extra training put in beforehand has worked to her advantage.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion secured her place in the final at Flushing Meadows with a straight-sets win over Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova.
Williams said: “There’s always sceptics. I worked really hard for Wimbledon, and I was really disappointed and sad and shocked that I wasn’t able to win.
“I worked hours, more than I worked before. Maybe it’s just paying off now.”
Williams is eyeing her third consecutive title at the US Open but will have to find a way past Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki in the final on Sunday.