Oct 09, 2013

    Serena sees every rival as a threat

    WORLD No. 1 Serena Williams denied that there is a widening gulf between her and the other leading players after she claimed her 10th title of the year at the China Open on Sunday.

    The power-hitting American has had another season of domination, being confirmed as the top-ranked year-end player last month, when she also became the first woman to win more than US$9 million (S$11 million) in a season.

    The top seed eased to her second title in Beijing with a convincing 6-2, 6-2 demolition of Serbia's Jelena Jankovic.

    But the 32-year-old said she was still being challenged by other top-ranked female players.

    "Everyone is beatable, I think, at some point. I know I am," she said.

    "Everyone is a threat, you know. I don't feel like I'm above anyone. I'm just playing and doing the best I can. That's all I can do. I'm just happy that I'm working hard to be the best right now. Soon, it will be someone else."

    Williams has a career total of 56 titles, with 17 major wins.

    She became only the fifth woman to hold all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously at the 2003 Australian Open and, in 2002 and 2009, had finished the year at No. 1.

    Williams joins Belgium's Justine Henin and Switzerland's Martina Hingis as a three-time year-end No. 1, with Germany's Steffi Graf (eight), Czech-American Martina Navratilova (seven), and the United States' Chris Evert (five) and Lindsay Davenport (four) ahead of her.

    When Williams arrived in Beijing the previous week, she told reporters she was not the greatest female player, but that she was "maybe top five". She won all of her 12 sets on her way to her Beijing victory on Sunday.

    However, she claims her route to the title was not a simple one.

    "Everyone definitely presents a challenge. Every time I step out on a court, it's a challenge. I'm vulnerable to not winning. I go out there focused (on doing) the best I can every time."