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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Champion Serena Williams leaving nothing to chance

Champion Serena Williams leaving nothing to chance

(Agencies)
Updated: 2008-01-07 10:22


MELBOURNE - When Serena Williams came back out of obscurity to win the Australian Open last year for her eighth grand-slam title, she not only confounded her critics but also surprised herself.


Serena Williams and Mardy Fish (not pictured) of the U.S. reacts to a point in their mixed double's against Novak Djokovic and Jelena Jankovic of Serbia during the final of their Hopman Cup mixed team tennis event in Perth January 4, 2008. [Agencies]

Having won the title despite being under-prepared, however, the former world number one arrived in Australia early this year looking fitter than she has in a long time and told Reuters that she wanted to leave nothing to chance this time.

"Last year was cutting it a bit close," Williams said, having begun her season in style by helping the United States to victory in the Hopman Cup, the eight-nation mixed team event held in Perth.

"It definitely pays to be here early. I'm glad I'm here. I have four matches under my belt and I'm definitely excited about that."

Twelve months ago, Williams arrived at Melbourne Park ranked 81st and looking well short of optimum fitness but still walked away with the title, demolishing Maria Sharapova in the final.

But knowing that she can win grand slam titles when she is not fully prepared can be a double-edged sword, Williams said.

"It's definitely been a vice of mine, my biggest vice," said the American, who is now ranked seventh. "I can win without working this hard, it's a blessing and a malediction, so to say.

"(This time) I think I've been training a little more. I am more confident. It's all coming together. I took maybe one week off, if that.

"Other than that I have been training every day. I feel like as long as I play like this, I'll be solid (at Melbourne Park)."

Williams stressed in Perth that she is enjoying her tennis more these days and the way she laughed and joked her way through mixed doubles matches with her partner Mardy Fish at the Hopman Cup suggests a new attitude.

"I started this last year," she said. "Last year I had no pressure on me and I just enjoyed myself and had fun in every match that I played. I like that feeling.

"I put so much pressure on myself because I am a perfectionist, but I realise not everything's going to be perfect in life, there are bumps you have to deal with.

"I wasn't dealing with it last year. I had a court case, eight hours of every day and it was very difficult." Williams, her sister Venus and their father, Richard, were accused of reneging on a deal to play an exhibition match.

She added: "It's hard to sit down for eight hours, sometimes even longer, for over a month. The fact that I didn't have to do that (this year) pretty much explains it (her relaxed attitude)."

When Williams won the title last year, the only top 10 player missing from Melbourne was Belgian Justine Henin, who captured the French and U.S. Open titles later in 2007.

Henin has beaten Williams in their three most recent meetings and will be the favourite for the title in Melbourne, starting on January 14, but Williams said she had another motivation to win the tournament.

Victory at Melbourne Park would take her to nine grand-slam titles, level with Monica Seles, Williams's hero growing up.

"That would be awesome," Williams said.

"She was definitely a big factor. I love her and I think she's a great person. She was my favourite player.

"I'm feeling really match fit and ready. I am never where I want to be. I am getting there. I can't put a percentage on it right now, but I am getting there."


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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 01:49 PM
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Re: Champion Serena Williams leaving nothing to chance

Yup!!!! Serena is looking healthy and happy and if nothing else that makes me very happy!WOOP WOOP!!! i like ur sig. it was an awesome week last weeek!!!woo!!! i cannot wait for the Oz 1 week 2 go!!!!!!!!!!!
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 01:52 PM
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Re: Champion Serena Williams leaving nothing to chance

Keep working hard, Serena, you will get there.

*Venus*Serena*Kuznetsova*Schiavone*Taylor*Bartoli* *A.Bondarenko*Zheng*Duval*Safarova*Kirilenko*

*Federer*Nadal*Djokovic*Tsonga*Murray*Monfils*Gulb is*Young*Wawrinka*Mirnyi*

“Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.”

― Maya Angelou
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 01:57 PM
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Re: Champion Serena Williams leaving nothing to chance

Wow , amazing.

She is sooo hyped!

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venuswilliams serenawilliams
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 02:01 PM
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Re: Champion Serena Williams leaving nothing to chance

I think 2008 is going to be a big year for both Williams sister. It's just something in the way of things.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 02:01 PM
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Re: Champion Serena Williams leaving nothing to chance

Can't wait

Career Grand Slam in your 20s? Been there done that. Career golden slam your 30s?
There's only 1.
Been around the world, copped all 4 thrice.

Serena.[21]
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 03:15 PM
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Re: Champion Serena Williams leaving nothing to chance

The Australian Open needs to start now!!!!

Rena's Army, Ana and Vika!!!

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 03:26 PM
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Re: Champion Serena Williams leaving nothing to chance

just no huge injuries plz

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 03:27 PM
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Re: Champion Serena Williams leaving nothing to chance

can't wait till the draws

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 03:46 PM
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Re: Champion Serena Williams leaving nothing to chance

I really like her attitude coming into Melbourne this year. I think in other years she might have shrugged off her lack of fitness in winning the AO last year, but she is very candid about how winning with no preparation isn't exactly a motivator to get fitter. I havent seen any of the Hopman Cup matches so I dont know how she's playing, but I think the other top players should be worried.
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 04:07 PM
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Re: Champion Serena Williams leaving nothing to chance

This is the first time I've seen Serena admit that she can win without practicing much, and how its a blessing and a curse. This entire article reflects a clarity of thought within her that isn't always apparent. It's refreshing to see that, and I am very excited to see her in this form.

You don't close your eyes, even for a milli-second,
when Serena is backed into a corner and looking to bust out.
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 04:11 PM
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Re: Champion Serena Williams leaving nothing to chance

Quote:
Originally Posted by 50Sense View Post
This is the first time I've seen Serena admit that she can win without practicing much, and how its a blessing and a curse. This entire article reflects a clarity of thought within her that isn't always apparent. It's refreshing to see that, and I am very excited to see her in this form.
Agreed!

So when is the draw? Perhaps the confusion in days is due to time difference? For an Aussie it could be friday or thurs night for a Brit? Is it televised?

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Last edited by serenus_2k8; Jan 7th, 2008 at 04:44 PM.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 04:15 PM
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Re: Champion Serena Williams leaving nothing to chance

Serena seems focused and anxious to hit the courts this year. That's a great sign, and she's looking fantastic! It's going to be a totally different year from last.

Serena Williams
21-Time Grand Slam Champion

6 AO ('03, '05, '07, '09, '10, '15) 3 FO ('02, '13, '15)
6 WBN ('02, '03, '09, '10, '12, '15) 6 USO ('99, '02, '08, '12, '13, '14)
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 04:29 PM
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Re: Champion Serena Williams leaving nothing to chance

Serena seems refreshed and I think she is going to have a BIG year.

If she can win the AO in the kind of shape she was in last year...I can only imagine what great things she can accomplish with good fitness and preparation.
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 06:06 PM
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Re: Champion Serena Williams leaving nothing to chance

Serena!
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