Serena Williams: Australian Open Win Would Launch Star to No. 1 Ranking in 2013

Mike HoagCorrespondent IIJanuary 16, 2013

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 28:  Serena Williams of USA celebrates winning a point against Maria Sharapova of Russia in the final during day six of the season ending TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships Tennis at the Sinan Erdem Dome on October 28, 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Nothing is decided yet, but Serena Williams smoked Edina Gallovits-Hall, her opening-round Australian Open opponent, in straight sets.

Sure, there is better competition than the 28-year-old Romanian who is currently ranked No. 110 on the WTA Singles Rankings, but Williams had some odds stacked against her in her first-round matchup. She continued to roll, though, despite being hobbled just 19 minutes into her match with Gallovits by an ankle injury.

Don’t worry, she is a true warrior and will be back out there for her second-round matchup against Garbine Muguruza Blanco. Her opponent won a hard-fought duel in the first round by scoring a 4-6, 6-1, 14-12 victory.

Competition isn’t likely to pick up until later in the bracket, and she should be fine by the time that happens.

She isn’t about to throw in the white flag just yet, either.

“Oh, I’ll be out there,” Williams said, according to The Washington Post’s Cindy Boren. “I mean, unless something fatal happens to me, there’s no way I’m not going to be competing. I’m alive. My heart’s beating. I’ll be fine.”

Despite the injury, Williams is playing some of the best tennis of her career at age 31. She’s coming off of a warm-up win at the Brisbane International and had an incredible run to finish 2012.

That run included a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics, which completed the rare Golden Slam—a title given to a player who wins the grand slam and the tennis Olympic gold medal in a calendar year.

Later that month, Williams defeated No. 1 seed and current No. 1-ranked Victoria Azarenka for the U.S. Open title.

A little over one month later, she got the better of Maria Sharapova at the WTA Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.

With wins over the best in the game, Williams rolled into the new year looking for her chance to get back on top.

It isn’t just the fact that she is winning that makes this run so impressive. She is winning big and leaving no doubt in her wake.

Nothing, not even a sprained ankle, is going to keep Williams from reclaiming the world’s No. 1 ranking in 2013.