Dubai: World number one Serena Williams has no retirement plans in the near future, she says, despite approaching the twilight of her career at the age of 31.
The American, who has an amazing collection of 47 singles titles, including 15 Grand Slam crowns, to her name, said: “Will I retire soon? Absolutely not. I feel really good.
“I thought I would stop at 27 and then 28. And now I am 31 years old, I feel better and have fewer injuries. I have been much better than I ever have.”
Williams insists she is fully focused on capturing her first Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open title this week.
“I really want to do well this year. I love this city, it’s such a great city and I am definitely looking forward to this week,” Serena said at the customary round-table conference on Tuesday.
“I am still hungry for more titles, in particular this one in Dubai, as I have not won it before.”
Despite not feeling 100 per cent, Williams reached the final of Sunday’s Qatar Open, where she lost to Victoria Azarenka in three sets. “I have definitely improved a lot in a week. I was really, really sick last week and physically I just wasn’t at my best. I couldn’t train and I couldn’t practice just one or two days before playing. So I didn’t want to not show up last week,” the American revealed.
“So the least I could do was show up and play my way into shape and if see if I would be able to compete. And I am glad I did because I feel so much better already this week. I feel like a completely different athlete, a completely different person compared to last week,” she said.
She also did not want to dwell too much on her impressive list of past achievements. “I love playing tennis and I feel like it’s just a great opportunity for me to do something that I love. I don’t have any stress and I will choose when I need to go [retire],” she said.
In fact, she can still see herself evolving as a player even though she became the oldest world number one this week. “Overall I am pretty solid. I was pretty solid when I was world number one last time as well,” she said.
Williams also envisages herself having a keen rivalry with world number two Victoria Azarenka. “Absolutely. She’s [Azarenka] is still young. By that I mean she is in the mid-range of her career. I think we can have a good rivalry for sure,” she said.