Williams braces for Melbourne heat

Melbourne, Jan 11: Serena Williams’ goals for the upcoming Australian Open are simple – stay on your feet and stop complaining about the weather.

Temperatures here have been unseasonably cool in the week leading up to the tournament but are expected to climb up to 33 degrees when the World No.1 takes the court Monday for her first-round match against Australia’s Ashleigh Barty, reports Xinhua.

“The cool weather has been putting me in a really bad mood. But then it got really, really hot,” said Williams in her pre-tournament press conference.

“I was very sad that I complained, so I won’t complain any more about the weather.”

Williams comes into Melbourne as the favourite to capture her sixth Australian Open title and 18th Grand Slam overall. She would be matching Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert in terms of number of Grand Slam titles if she crowns herself after two weeks.

“It would mean a lot to be on the same level as such great players as Chris Evert and Narvatilova,” said the 32-year-old.

“But I still have a lot of work to do. I obviously want to be able to reach that level, but I’m not there yet. Hopefully I’ll get there.”

IANS