Serena closes in on return to top spot
By Richard Eaton, AFPDOHA, Qatar--Serena Williams needs only one more win to become world number one for the first time in two-and-a-half years after reaching the quarter-finals of the Qatar Open in double quick time on Thursday.
February 16, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
It took the 15-time Grand Slam title winner less than an hour to complete a 6-0, 6-3 win over Urszula Radwanska, the world number 37 from Poland, and to take herself to the brink of another remarkable achievement.
A year ago, after a series of injuries, Williams' career seemed in danger.
Now, after triumphs at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Olympics, and struggling against ankle and back injuries and a cold this week, she is almost back to where many believe she deserves to be — at the top again.
Williams was not allowing her feelings to distract her, however, offering a smokescreen of anti-climactic words to avoid sharing premature pleasure with the crowd.
“Not really,” she said, when asked if she were thinking about becoming number one again.
“I am so over it. It's like everyone is thinking about it. I have a really tough opponent. It is what it is.”
Later, however, Williams' mood altered a little.
Asked what she thought of the prospect of becoming the oldest player to reach the top ranking again, she said: “It's awesome. Since I didn't do the youngest, I figure I'll do the oldest.”
On Friday, she'll face Petra Kvitova, the former Wimbledon champion from the Czech Republic, who recovered from 1-3 down in the final set to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 against Nadia Petrova, the 11th seeded Russian who is a previous champion in Doha.
Earlier Victoria Azarenka, the current number one, made an impressive statement of her right still to be considered the best player when she overwhelmed America's Christina McHale 6-0, 6-0.