MELBOURNE, Jan 15: Serena Williams has vowed to make life difficult for top seed Angelique Kerber and a host of dangerous players out to derail her at the Australian Open, warning she is in Melbourne to win.
The American gets her quest for an Open-era record 23rd Grand Slam title underway in a difficult first-round clash against Switzerland�s Belinda Bencic in forecast sweltering heat on Tuesday.
It will be one the few matches she has played after a four-month lay-off.
But the 35-year-old, seeded two, is in fighting mood despite being bundled out in the second round of her only warm-up tournament, the Auckland Classic.
�I didn�t come here to lose in the first round, or the second round, or at all. If I can play the way I�ve been practising, it will be fine,� she said on Saturday.
�I�ve been spending so much time on the court. It feels really good to be back, just hitting on Rod Laver (Arena), hitting on all the stadiums, it�s a good feeling. I love it here.�
If she gets past Bencic, Williams could then encounter either in-form Briton Johanna Konta, who won this week�s Sydney International, or sixth seed Dominika Cibulkova in the quarterfinals.
And then there�s Germany�s Kerber, who is scheduled to meet her in the final as the newly-engaged Williams looks to better Steffi Graf�s 22 Grand Slam singles titles by winning her seventh Australian crown. � AFP