Eight-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams says the reason she doesn't have more US Open titles to her name is because the umpires and linesmen have ganged up on her in the past.
"One year I really ran into a lot of bad luck where I got the worst calls possible," said Williams who rolled to an easy 6-1, 6-4 win over Kateryna Bondarenko in her first round match at the 20.6 million dollar US Open on Tuesday.
"Honestly, I couldn't even hit a shot because I was so nervous they would call every ball out.
"That really wasn't my fault. I probably would have won that year, and I was gonna win that year. Unfortunately it didn't work out."
Williams won the US Open in 1999 and 2002 and has come close in other years. In 2004, she had an on court meltdown during a quarter-final loss to fellow American Jennifer Capriati.
Williams hit a backhand inside the sideline at deuce in the first game of the final set that was called good by the linesman but overruled by chair umpire Mariana Alves.
The umpire was eventually dismissed from the tournament and the organizers apologized to Williams for the blunder.
Some feel that was the driving force to bring in instant replay. "I think it's true," Williams said.
This was the first career meeting between Williams and 46th ranked Bondarenko.
The 26-year-old Williams continued her solid play this season on hardcourts by firing six aces en route to a victory in just 56 minutes on Tuesday.
Williams won 92 percent of her first-serve points, needing just 19 minutes to win the first set.
The fourth seeded Williams is one of three players in this event who have a chance to be ranked number one in the world if they can win the final major of the season.
Williams scoffed at suggestions that the Serbian duo Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic were dominating women's tennis this year. Ivanovic and Jankovic are the top seeds in New York and ranked one and two in the world.
"I can't sit here and say someone is going to dominate when I'm still playing tennis," Williams said.
Despite all her success over the years, she admits to moments of uncertainty.
"I'm definitely mortal," Williams said. "And, yeah, I do struggle with self doubt.
"Sometimes when I'm in a match I do get tight and I get nervous.
"I always try to think of like, you know, current players that can work through that, like (Rafael) Nadal and (Roger) Federer.
"If they can do it I can do it too. So it takes me out of that moment."
On making a run at this year's event she said, "I don't know because I keep losing matches I shouldn't lose."