Subdued Serena plans to keep it simple

Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:11am EST
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MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Serena Williams has a simple plan as she enters the twilight of her career.

One tournament at a time. Oh, and have some fun.

The 31-year-old American, who is bidding for her sixth Australian Open title, enters the season-opening grand slam one of the raging hot favorites for the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Trophy arguably in the form of her life.

Williams compiled a 31-1 run from Wimbledon until the season-ending WTA Championships in Istanbul, winning the grass court grand slam, the Olympic gold medal and the U.S. Open as well as the Championships titles.

She continued that run by sealing the Brisbane title in her first tournament of 2013 and if successful at Melbourne Park, she will be just the French Open title away from completing her second 'Serena-slam' -- where she holds all four grand slam titles at the same time.

Despite her phenomenal run of form, and her superior match record against world number one Victoria Azarenka and number two Maria Sharapova, the powerful American was unsure if she would be able to complete a calendar grand slam.

"That's an incredible goal. It hasn't been done since the '80s," she said in reference to Steffi Graf's 1988 grand slam-winning season. "I don't know if I can do it. Maybe someone else can. We'll see."

Few would bet against the enigmatic Williams from achieving the result, given how well she was playing over the second half of 2012.

The real issue at Melbourne Park, however, is that she has from time to time run hot and cold.   Continued...

Serena Williams of the U.S. speaks during a news conference at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, January 12, 2013. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar