Sorry, Victoria Azarenka.
The current No. 1 in the world was able to avoid Serena in Australia, and as a result, "only" had to defeat Sloane Stephens and Li Na en route to the title.
That's not an attempt to take anything away from Azarenka. She has now won two straight Australian Opens, made it to the semifinals at the last three Grand Slam events, is clearly blossoming as a true force to be reckoned with at the top of the WTA and, most importantly, is dating Redfoo of LMFAO.
The Belarusian deserves heaps of credit for all of the above.
But take heed, Ms. Azarenka: Serena is coming for all of it—except Redfoo.
In fact, the veteran American was narrowly close to taking the No. 1 distinction in Australia (via the Australian Open's Twitter account):
If #LiNa wins this #AusOpen final #Azarenka will lose the world No.1 ranking to #Serena #Williams on Monday.1/26/2013, 9:32:20 AM
Azarenka was able to win two straight sets to come back and knock off Li to keep the top spot, but Williams still passed Maria Sharapova for No. 2 in the world.
Currently, she trails Azarenka by just 355 points. It's now just a matter of when—not if—she will overtake the 23-year-old at the summit.
Considering the last time we saw Williams' ankle it looked more like an over-inflated football than a body part—and the fact that she's "incredibly tired"—it's unclear whether she will play on a hard court in the coming months.
Whether she returns at Dubai in late February or Miami in late March or if she waits until "clay season" returns, Williams will undoubtedly pass Azarenka in the near future.
When she's healthy and playing at the top of her game (two extremely important keys in this entire process—the only person who can beat Williams is herself), the 31-year-old has the serve and power to be absolutely dominant on the hard court.
There's a reason she has won the Australian and U.S. Opens a combined nine times.
But she's just as good on clay.
Last year, Williams beat Sabine Lisicki, Samantha Stosur, Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Sharapova and Azarenka all on clay before her massive slip-up in the first round of the French Open.
Virginie Razzano handed Williams an embarrassing upset at that Grand Slam, but Williams still proved in the previous weeks that she can beat the world's best on what is easily her worst surface.
It's only a matter of time. Serena may have come up just short at Australia, but she still put herself within striking distance of No. 1.
She'll be back there soon.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!