By Tennis Week
Serena Williams owns one of the most imposing serves in women's tennis and the reigning Australian Open champ says she spent some of her time off from tennis serving up something special to herself: an attitude adjustment. In the aftermath of her 7-6, 6-1, loss to top-ranked Justine Henin in last month's U.S. Open quarterfinals, Williams claims she's committed to working her way back to the top of the sport.
"I definitely think I'm ready for it," Williams told Reuters in an interview today. "I'm ready to dedicate myself. I'm excited by the fact that I have so much motivation. That's why I was so upset at the U.S. Open. I'm really motivated now, my whole attitude has changed."
The seventh-ranked American has not reached a final since she saved a match point to hold off Henin, 0-6, 7-5, 6-3, in the Sony Ericsson Open final in Miami in April.
The 26-year-old Williams has been a Grand Slam champion, dress designer and actress, but now she says she's eager to launch a new endeavor in real estate. The seventh-ranked Williams is intent on reclaiming that primary property that is the top spot of the WTA Tour rankings. Williams held the No. 1 rank for 57 consecutive weeks
before Belgium's Kim Clijsters succeeded her at the top on August 11th, 2003.
"If I didn't believe I could be number one again I wouldn't be out here trying," Williams said. "Will I? If I dedicate myself and do the work, I will. And I'm ready."
It's not the first time Williams has publicly declared her desire to reclaim the top spot she held from July 8th, 2002 to August 10th, 2003 — a span of sustained dominance that saw her win five of the six majors she entered.
Williams is well aware she will need to play more tournaments to rise in the rankings and coming off a quarterfinal loss to Svetlana Kuznetsova in Stuttgart last week, she will play the Kremlin Cup in Moscow this week.
Throughout much of her career, Williams has not played too much tournament tennis during the post-U.S. Oopen fall indoor European season. The fact she is planning to play multiple tournaments this fall is a sign she may be serious in her quest, but can she stay healthy?
"I couldn't hit a lot of shots for eight weeks this summer so I think [the sprained thumb she suffered at Wimbledon] did ultimately affect my play at the Open. I was happy to even play there," Williams said. "My health is good right now. I've had a lot of injuries in the past so I'm really excited."
Simply Stunning, Simply Serena
57 Consecutive Weeks as World #1
Olympic Gold Medalist ('00 Doubles w/ Venus)