Serena says she'll be beaten someday

Updated: 2013-10-08 07:32

By Agence France-Presse (China Daily)

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World No 1 Serena Williams denied there is a widening gulf between her and the other leading players after she claimed her tenth title of the year at the China Open on Sunday.

The power-hitting American has had another season of domination, being confirmed as the top ranked year-end player last month, when she also become the first woman to win more than $9 million in a season.

The top seed eased to her second title in Beijing with a convincing 6-2, 6-2 demolition of Serbia's Jelena Jankovic.

But the 32-year-old said she was still being challenged by the other top-ranked female players.

Serena says she'll be beaten someday

"Everyone is beatable, I think, at some point. I know I am," she said.

"Everyone is a threat, you know. I don't feel like I'm above anyone. I'm just playing and doing the best I can. That's all I can do.

"I'm just happy that I'm just working hard to be the best right now. Soon it will be someone else."

Williams has a career total of 56 titles, with 17 major wins.

She became only the fifth woman to hold all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously at the 2003 Australian Open, and has finished the year at No 1 previously in 2002 and 2009.

Williams joins Justine Henin and Martina Hingis as a three-time year-end No 1, with only Steffi Graf (8), Martina Navratilova (7), Chris Evert (5) and Lindsay Davenport (4) ahead of her.

When she arrived in Beijing the previous week, Williams told reporters she was not the greatest-ever female player, but that she was "maybe top five."

Williams won all of the 12 sets she competed in on her way to her victory in Beijing.

However, she claims her route to the title was not a simple one.

"I'm definitely being challenged. I was down a couple set points in a couple matches. I was able to pull through with that. Got a little lucky," she said.

"Everyone definitely presents a challenge. Every time I step out the a court it's a challenge. I'm vulnerable to not winning. I go out there focused the best I can every time."

Happy to be back

A philosophical Rafael Nadal said on Sunday he is happy to be back from a seven-month injury layoff and playing top-level tennis, despite his defeat in the China Open final.

The world No 2 lost to a dominant Novak Djokovic in Beijing, but will unseat the Serb at the top of the men's rankings when they are announced by the ATP this week.

Nadal's return to the top for the first time since July 2011 marks an incredible comeback for the 13-time Grand Slam champion.

The 27-year-old spent the second half of 2012 out with a knee injury, and the first few weeks of 2013 on the sidelines with a stomach virus.

Despite losing in Beijing, Nadal was pleased to be back playing at the top.

"That is what motivates me and makes me happy, that I am able to be on the tour again and enjoying important matches like I played today with a great atmosphere out there, full crowd, big stadium. Something that I missed a lot for seven months," he said after his 6-3, 6-4 defeat.

"I was able for the last seven or eight months to play very often in these circumstances, so it's very special every time I have that chance. I'm enjoying that situation."

In Beijing, the Spaniard appeared in his 13th final of 14 tournaments this season. He has won 10 of them.

The loss was his first since he crashed out at Wimbledon in the first round in June, and represents his only hardcourt defeat this season.

Perfect record

Djokovic spoke of his love for the China Open after he claimed his fourth title to continue an incredible 100 percent record in Beijing.

Djokovic has been in sizzling form at the tournament, where he has an unbeaten run stretching back to 2009. He did not attend in 2011.

"It's been an incredible week again for me," he said after his 6-3, 6-4 victory.

"Still haven't lost a match here. I just love the conditions. I love the court and the atmosphere that goes around the tournament.

"Center court is exceptional, and I enjoy it. I try to cherish every moment that I spend here, every year."

The Serb has a 19-game unbeaten run in Beijing, winning 38 of 41 sets he has played.

(China Daily 10/08/2013 page23)