THE LADY IS BACK

Serena Williams says she “feels invigorated”. In that case the other players need to be on the lookout.

The year just gone, 2012, was a phenomenal year for Serena Williams. Every major tennis observer named her as the “Player of the Year”. What she achieved in 2012 was truly remarkable as she won her 14th and 15th career Grand Slam crowns, two Olympic gold medals, the year-end championships and a host of other titles.

Serena showed once again that when she is playing well it would take more than a titanic effort from an opponent to stop her. Even then it would be next to impossible – only four losses the entire calendar year is testament to that.

She has started her 2013 campaign with the tournament in Brisbane, Australia and will then head down to Melbourne to try and win the Australian Open for a sixth time.

However don’t expect any New Year’s resolutions, Serena doesn’t do them.

But, if there is one thing on the cards, maybe it’s getting back to the No.1 ranking because she would then be the oldest player in rankings history to gain the world No.1 ranking. If she wins the Australian Open she will achieve that.

She had indicated twelve months ago that maybe she had fallen out of love with tennis to some degree but she has made it clear that is no longer the case and love is very much in the air.

“Honestly, I think one of the secrets is I had to take some time off, also, I love winning, and I feel like as long as I’m able to win some matches and do well, I’m really motivated to keep going,” said Serena.

“I just love being out there. I think going through what I went through a year and a half ago really just made me realize that I get to do this and have fun.”

There is such a renewed sense of appreciation and achievement. It has often been said that you will always miss something when you don’t have it and the time Serena was forced away from tennis is proof of how she feels about the sport now.

“If I have a year like I had it would be exciting and I would be really happy for that as well,” she added. “Obviously I would like to do better namely at Roland Garros and at the Australian Open, too.

“I feel like when I get to travel the world and go different places and do something and have fun holding up trophies is always really cool. So I think it’s just a really cool time and really cool experience.”

Right now Serena is getting used to the change in time differences. In recent weeks she has been in Florida, Brazil, Mauritius and now Australia but she has a few weeks to get into the right sleep patterns because she intends to be Down Under for a while. There are aims and targets to fulfill over here which are likely to set the pattern for the rest of the season, and who knows maybe even the coveted and elusive calendar year Grand Slam will fall her way.