Serena fires warning shot

World number one faces off against Germany’s Kerber in women’s final

Afp January 29, 2016

MELBOURNE: Serena Williams warned Angelique Kerber she was playing better now than when she won three Grand Slams last year as the German attempts to halt the American juggernaut’s record-equalling attempt in the Australian Open final.  The world number one was in a different class in 2015 as she swept to the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon titles, losing just three matches out of 56 all season.

Despite being virtually untouchable, the 34-year-old believes her game is now on another level, with a near flawless first set against Agnieszka Radwanska in the semi-finals ample evidence.

“I would say this is probably the best Slam I’ve played in a year,” said Serena, the top seed. “Again, I haven’t won this one. But even if I don’t win, I really can take away that I’ve been really consistent, and I want to continue that.”

Awesome Serena gunning for Graf record, Kerber in the way

She is attempting to equal Steffi Graf’s Open-era record of 22 Slam triumphs, having snared her first major title half-a-lifetime ago in 1999, and said she can still get better.

Kerber’s never-say-die attitude — inspired by Graf, who hit with her last year and messaged her after the semis — has helped her into the first major final of her career, and she plans to enjoy the occasion.

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She said all the pressure was on her opponent, who has won all six of her previous Melbourne finals. “Nothing to lose means I can go out there and try to play like I’m playing, without pressure, without anything,” said the 28-year-old. 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 30th,  2016.

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