SERENA SEEKS PERFECTION DOWN-UNDER

For almost four years, women’s tennis has witnessed the dominance of one player. Not only has Serena Williams won 8 of the last 16 majors and completed for a second time the in-famous “Serena Slam” at Wimbledon last year, she is miles ahead of players in the top 10. Her dominance goes beyond physical strength, she is as well the best mentally.

An inspired performance from Italy’s Roberta Vinci in the semi-final at the US Open ended her dream of completing the calendar grandslam and to equal Steffi Graf’s record of 22 major titles-the most acheived in the open era.
Post-Flushing Meadows last year was marred by injuries which forced her to pull out of tournaments on the WTA circuit including the World Tour finals in Singapore.

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Prior to the first major of 2016 which is only days away, the 34-year old played down the severity of a knee inflammation which forced her to withdraw from the Hopman Cup, saying a couple of days rest is all she needs to become fully fit. Should all things go as planned, the American will hard to beat and other seeded players would hope for a favourable draw to avoid her until at least semi-final or final.

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Melbourne has been her happy haunting ground of all four major tournaments. Winning her sixth crown last year confirmed her as the player with the most titles at the Happy Slam ( both male and female). Her records and statistics at this tournament is incredible. She has won all semi-finals and went on to be crowned champion in all final appearances.
She will spend this year’s tournament as world number 1 for the 153rd and 154th consecutive weeks- third best streak behind Graf with 186 and Navratilova’s 156.
Mental strength is key winning against your opponents in difficult matches. Indeed that is what separates from the other players on the women’s tour. An instances of her pure mental dominance can be seen in battles against Victoria Azarenka which she has been on the verge of losing but was able to turn round the situation.
You can be assured that with all conditions right, it will take a very surreal performance to overcome the defending champion. Apart from that, there is no stopping her in getting her hands on the Daphne Akhurst Challenge Cup for a perfect seventh time, which will also be her 22nd in all.

JOHN BOTWE©
Twitter: @jb_89gh

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