Ser­ena Wil­liams hopes Mi­ami home turf can bring ti­tle

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

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.

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