Serena savors home-court advantage at Sony Open

Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:37pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) - Serena Williams is a daunting opponent no matter the surface or tournament, but at the Sony Open played near the comforts of her Miami home she has practically set up a second residence in the winner's circle.

Williams, who lives an hour's drive from the Tennis Center at Crandon Park, site of the Sony Open for the next fortnight, is a six-time winner in Miami. That is more wins than she has at any other tournament and one better than her five U.S. Open, Wimbledon and Australian Open grand slam victories.

In the 12 years since Williams first claimed the crown in 2002 she has taken the trophy home with her 50 percent of the time and is favored to add a seventh to her collection when the final is decided on March 29.

A relaxed Williams certainly looked right at home as she worked her way through a series of pre-tournament interviews at a posh Key Biscayne beachside resort on Tuesday stealing the spotlight from some of the other assembled tennis glitterati, including Maria Sharapova and Australian Open champion Li Na.

"I have been waiting on this for awhile, it feels good to be back here," the defending champion and world number one told a tableside gathering of media. "It is home, it feels like home, I drive just an hour, it feels great.

"I train here so it is easier to anticipate the wind and the heat and all the extra elements."

Another title Williams can lay claim to is the Queen of South Beach.

Already part owner of the National Football League's Miami Dolphins, Williams hinted that she could add to her sporting empire saying, "anything is possible" when asked if she was open to getting involved with David Beckham and his efforts to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Miami.   Continued...

Serena Williams of the U.S. serves to Ana Ivanovic of Serbia during their women's singles match at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 19, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Reed