Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Serena Williams made her comeback from injury in 2011 in time for the grass court season. However her result at Wimbledon, a fourth-round loss to Marion Bartoli, was far below the American's normal standard as she had won the title at the All England Club four times.
While her poor 2011 result could be attributed to rust, you do have to wonder what happened to Williams in the final of the 2011 US Open.
Williams entered the final with 13 Grand Slam titles to her credit. Her opponent, Samantha Stosur, had zero.
Additionally, Stosur, a player who is normally terrible at finishing tournaments, only had two WTA titles to her credit in her entire career as she entered the Flushing Meadows final.
Every single perspective on the match implied a Williams victory, but it made no difference. It was Stosur in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, in what was a boring Grand Slam final.
That lackluster performance has to be eyebrow-raising, and it was the last we saw of Williams, since she did not play a match after losing at Flushing Meadows.
She is the most proven player on tour, but if she's declining at all then the 29-year-old could have trouble re-capturing the world No. 1 ranking or even the world No. 2 ranking.
Additionally, Williams, even when she is healthy, has not always been the most dedicated player when it comes to contesting tournaments.
There have been times in her career when pundits have questioned her interest in tennis, and she definitely has other interfering interests besides the sport.
I think she'll do enough damage this year to climb back into the top five, but I don't think she'll claim the top spot or the second spot.
I also predict that she won't get through a pre-match interview at the Australian Open without seeming annoyed, bothered or short-tempered toward the interviewer.