Serena Williams is shifting her attention to winning all four Grand Slam championships heading into the 2013 season as she prepares for the Australian Open in January.
The 31-year-old Williams is coming off a Sunday victory over fellow American Varvara Lepchenko in the first-round of the Brisbane International. Williams needed less than hour to defeat Lepchenko 6-2, 6-1.
Williams, who is a 15-time Grand Slam champion, has held all four majors in 2002-03 season, but has yet to win all four in the same calendar year. Steffi Graf was the last woman singles player to achieve all four Grand Slams in the same calendar year in 1988.
The 2012 Women’s Tennis Player of the Year addressed reporters after the match on whether she can accomplish such an achievement in 2013.
“I think for me, absolutely,” Williams said. “I think maybe whoever wins the Australian Open will have that same thought. I think there is no way that Victoria (Azarenka) or Maria (Sharapova) or maybe some other players don’t feel the same way. So I think I definitely feel that way.”
Williams is coming off a stellar second half of the 2012 season where she won 31 of her last 32 matches. She won titles at Wimbledon, the Olympics, the U.S. Open and the WTA Championships. Her overall record in 2012 was an impressive 58-4.
But if Williams is unable to capture all four Grand Slam titles, she plans to keep playing until the 2016 Games in Rio, which will allow her several more opportunities.
Williams played in her first match since withdrawing from an exhibition in Thailand due to problems with her big toes. She ultimately had surgery on her toes, but was a little hesitant entering her first match since the surgery.
“I was a little nervous, but I was completely fine,” Williams said. “The doctor said I would be fine. I was excited to get an early start, so just in case I did have any pain, I could have tomorrow off. But everything was fine.”
Williams will now move to the second round and play either Australian Bojana Bobosic or Frenchwoman Alize Cornet on Tuesday.