SERENA STEPS UP TO THE MARK

By Craig Gabriel

MELBOURNE, Australia: Serena Williams doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone but in her first round of the Australian Open she showed yet again how good a tennis player she is and what an amazing athlete she is.

It took her just 55 minutes to sweep into the second round of the Australian Open with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Romanian Edina Gallovits-Hall but in the first set Serena went over on her ankle and lay on the court in pain.

“It reminded me a lot of Brisbane (last year and) I thought, oh, not again,” said Serena. But, you know, I’ve had such a good year that I don’t think it’s anything negative. I just think that I was definitely a little bit in shock and I was thinking, I hope it’s not as serious, because it was really serious last year.

“Obviously there’s pain. Obviously there’s swelling. So it’s going to be really important to see how the next few hours unfold.”

But on this perfect day weather wise at the Australian Open Serena switched her mind back on to focusing on the match and told herself to relax and calm down. She made it clear that she had nothing to lose from that point and she was swinging without any inhibitions taking refuge from knowing what she is capable of irrespective of her physical situation.

“I’ve been injured before,” she said. “I’ve played this tournament with so many injuries and was able to come off pretty on top. So for me it’s just another page and a great story to tell the grandkids one day…”

Rest easy everyone, there is no chance that Serena will not play her second round match which is in two day’s time. She has made it clear that she will be out there.

“Oh, I’ll be out there,” said Serena. “I mean, unless something fatal happens to me, there’s no way I’m not going to be competing. I’m alive. My heart’s beating. I’ll be fine.”

And now she will lie on the couch and ice her foot, one of her favorite things to do. NOT!