Serena Williams hopes Miami home turf can bring title
World number one Serena Williams, who lost the finals at the Australian Open and last week at Indian Wells, is counting on the Miami Open to revamp her title-winning form. The 34year-old American is top seed for the WTA and ATP hardcourt event as well as the three-time defending champion with eight wins overall.
"This is a tournament I've grown up with. This is my home," Williams said today. "Things click for me here." The 21-time Grand Slam singles champion failed to add another major title to her haul in January, falling to Germany's Angelique Kerber in the Australian Open final. And she lost to Victoria Azarenka of Belarus at the Indian Wells final, dropping back-to-back finals for the first time since 2004.
"Feeling positive and really good," Williams said. "You have to keep going. You can't stop. That's kind of my attitude. At this point in my career, I'm just having a lot of fun."
Watching Azarenka show top form after battles the past two seasons with nagging foot injuries helped motivate Williams in more ways than one.
"We all know I hate losing more than anything," Williams said. "Seeing someone else do well motivates me. It's a rivalry. It's a friendly rivalry but it's an intense rivalry. "It was really impressive. She has been through a lot. She has always been a really good player."
While seeing a star fall short of the crown could offer encouragement to sharks circling ever closer, none of Williams' toprated rivals saw a drop in form coming in an event she has dominated for years. "Always when she's in the tournament, she's the favourite," said Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro. "She's not like a machine or a robot. She can't win every tournament she plays. She's always the best because she always wants more." No one realises that more than Kerber, who imposed a fifth career Grand Slam singles final loss upon Williams.