Serena Williams proved once again that her game, when it's on and even when it's off, is the best there is on the WTA Tour.
The newly-minted World No.1 crushed a helpless Dinara Safina 6-0, 6-3 in 58 minutes, hitting 23 winners against 7 errors and slamming down 4 aces, to win her fourth Aussie Open crown, second consecutive Grand Slam, and 10th career major overall moving her past Monica Seles (9) to become seventh on the all-time list. Only Chris Evert + Martina Navratilova (18), Helen Wills Moody (19), Steffi Graf (22) and Margaret Court (24) are ahead of ReRe in terms of career Grand Slam titles.
In her post-match presser, she was asked how she managed to round into form over the fortnight after struggling early on:
Well, I've been playing better throughout the weeks. I think doubles was really able to help me out. And also I went out and hit a few balls this morning. I had a really good practice.Would she ever want to play anything close to the 5 hour plus men's semifinal between Rafael Nadal + Fernando Verdasco?
Watching some of the men's tennis, they were playing really well. I was really inspired like that. Especially last night's match. It was just crazy.
I thought, you know, I could do a little better. Just all the inspirations kind of added. And then I felt like, you know, going into today I didn't really have much to lose. Just go out there and do my best.
I was trying to think of who would beat me worse, either Roger or Rafa, and how long, like a five‑minute set. They'd probably take me out in five minutes, so...
Oh, uhm, if it came down to it and I had to, I could. I mean, would I want to? If it meant the win, I would have to, yeah.
And what does it mean to now be the all-time career prize money leader in women's sports?
Yeah, I thought it was just in tennis, and then I realized it was really overall in women's sports. I thought that was really cool, because you look at people like Billie Jean King, then you look at things in the United States called Title IX, which gave women an opportunity to play sports. You really appreciate that.
You really appreciate the people, the pioneers, the work they've done to get me in a position to have an opportunity to be called even the highest‑earning female tennis player.
I just feel so honored that I had so many wonderful pioneers doing things to open doors ‑ not only me, but you think five years from now or ten years from now, say, there will probably be people earning more money than I am, because the prize money on the WTA Tour has already gone completely out of the roof from this year and last year.
So it's gonna be even better.Congrats ReRe! Now at least we know one lady baller who deserves to hold the keys to the WTA Penthouse.
Could we be in for a Serena Slam, Part Deux or dare I say *gulp* the coveted GRAND SLAM this year?
(images via AP, Getty)