WTA Tour

I'm still the best, insists Serena as world No 1 Barty beckons

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Serena Williams
Serena Williams
PA/Supplied

Serena Williams on Friday insisted she was still the player to beat at 39, as she drew inspiration from ageless NFL quarterback Tom Brady ahead of the Australian Open.

Williams' comments came after her quarter-final win at the Yarra Valley Classic where she looked in ominous form - before pulling out of the tournament with a right shoulder injury.

The tennis icon, who is aiming for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, said her advancing age was inconsequential and said she looked up to athletes like Brady, 43, who on Sunday is seeking his seventh Super Bowl title.

"I feel good. I look at Tom Brady, it's so inspiring," she said.

"I think with all the new things, all the new technology, all the new physical treatments, rehab, things that you can do ... obviously it prolongs careers for so long."

Williams, who defeated fellow American Danielle Collins 6-2, 4-6, 10-6 after a mid-match wobble, was set for a semi-final showdown with world No 1 Ashleigh Barty on Saturday before the injury.

She had looked sharp having worked her way back from an Achilles injury suffered at last year's US Open, which then led to a withdrawal from the French Open before the second round.

Williams had moved well and appeared physically strong in her match against Collins, which she won in 96 minutes.

Asked whether she is still the best in the world when on top form, Williams was unequivocal.

"I absolutely wouldn't be playing if I didn't think that," said the American.

Williams is drawn to play Germany's Laura Siegemund in the opening round of the Australian Open starting on Monday.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
41% - 12330 votes
Cricket
12% - 3686 votes
Football
19% - 5595 votes
Athletics
3% - 778 votes
Boxing
1% - 297 votes
Cycling
2% - 703 votes
Golf
5% - 1539 votes
Motorsport
8% - 2525 votes
Tennis
3% - 1047 votes
Water sports
1% - 272 votes
American sports
1% - 385 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 1007 votes
Vote