Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Serena Williams reveals ankle fears

updated 11:56 AM EST, Sun December 29, 2013
Serena Williams poses with her coach Patrick Mouratoglou after reclaiming the year-end world No. 1 ranking she last held in 2009. Serena Williams poses with her coach Patrick Mouratoglou after reclaiming the year-end world No. 1 ranking she last held in 2009.
HIDE CAPTION
Serena's golden year
Best season
Roast Turkey
Injury woes
Pain in Paris
New coach
Mour to follow
Clay court champion
Fairytale of New York
Eyes on the prize
Record-breaking 2014?
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Serena Williams seeking to win Australian Open for sixth time
  • Her last victory in Melbourne grand slam came in 2010
  • World No. 1 will begin her new season against Andrea Petkovic
  • Caroline Wozniacki pulls out of Brisbane event due to injury

(CNN) -- She cuts an imposing figure on the tennis court, but Serena Williams has been stepping gingerly as she prepares to back up her stellar 2013 season.

The world No. 1 has arrived in Brisbane to begin her preparations for next month's Australian Open, and she is wary of repeating the successive ankle injuries which have marred her last two campaigns Down Under.

The first struck in the Queensland warm-up event two years ago, and then again last January in the opening match in Melbourne -- a factor which contributed to the American's shock fourth-round defeat by then teenager Sloane Stephens.

"I thought about it (at home in Florida during the off season) because I have steps in my room," Williams told reporters on Sunday.

Serena Williams' inner circle
Serena Williams' toughest challenge
Williams wins 2nd French Open title

"I thought, 'Gosh, I'm going to tip over these steps. I'm going to tape my ankles extra tight for the next four weeks.'

"If I can get a year without twisting my ankle I think I'll be good to go."

Read: Djokovic welcomes return of tennis legends

Williams overcame both injuries to end 2012 and 2013 as the dominant force in women's tennis, taking her grand slam haul to 17 titles -- five short of Steffi Graf's record.

Williams' first opponent in Brisbane will be former world No. 9 Andrea Petkovic, who defeated American Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-4 7-5 in Sunday's opening round.

Only four players beat Williams in 82 matches last season, and the German lost their only previous encounter.

The Brisbane event will also feature world No. 2 Victoria Azarenka, who beat Williams in an exhibition in Thailand on Saturday, and Maria Sharapova -- making her WTA Tour comeback from a shoulder injury that has sidelined the Russian since August.

Caroline Wozniack, another former world No. 1 who is now working with Sharapova's ex-coach Thomas Hogstedt, has been forced to pull out due to her own shoulder problem but expects to be fit for the following tournament in Sydney.

Read: The man who saved Serena Williams

"Everyone, when they play me, they play pretty much amazing, really unbelievable," Williams said.

"I always have to be ready. I can't stop. I love competing. So for me, it's just about motivating myself and trying to reach new goals."

One of those was relaunching her clothes brand Aneres during her postseason break.

"I was interviewing so many people. Corporate Serena was taking over. I'm happy to be here right now," Williams said.

"Now I can do what I do best."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:48 AM EDT, Thu September 11, 2014
French Tennis player Rene Lacoste, one of France's 'Four Musketeers' who won the Davis Cup in 1932, at Wimbledon. He is wearing his embroidered crocodile motif. Original Publication: People Disc - HH0434 (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
updated 2:36 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
updated 9:34 AM EDT, Sun September 14, 2014
Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
updated 8:52 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
updated 7:02 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
updated 7:01 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
updated 9:14 PM EDT, Sun June 22, 2014
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
ADVERTISEMENT