Serena Williams Remains World's Best Despite 2014 Australian Open Letdown

David DanielsSenior Writer IJanuary 19, 2014

Serena Williams of the U.S.  reacts as she plays Ana Ivanovic of Serbia during their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Aaron Favila/Associated Press

Serena Williams won't take long to make the 2014 Australian Open a distant memory.

At 32 years old, one slip-up is all it takes for Williams' critics to cry washed up. No. 14 seed Ana Ivanovic stunned her and the tennis world, edging Williams by the score of 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 on Sunday, according to ESPN. But the 17-time Grand Slam singles champion is far from done competing after a fourth-round letdown in Melbourne. 

It isn't like Williams' disappointment is part of a recent pattern. Her previous loss came all the way back in mid-August of last year in the Western & Southern Open final to Victoria Azarenka. Between then and now, Williams had triumphed in the 2013 U.S. Open, China Open and WTA Championships as well as the 2014 Brisbane International.

She didn't just win those tournaments either. Williams dominated. Over those four title runs, Williams only lost a grand total of three sets.

Tertius Pickard/Associated Press

The disappointment of an early Australian Open exit won't deter her from further dominance in upcoming Grand Slams either. Germany's Sabine Lisicki shocked Williams in Round 4 of the 2013 Wimbledon by the score of 6-2, 1-6, 6-4. Williams didn't sweat it, proceeding to win the U.S. Open.

As of Jan. 20, the WTA ranked Williams the world's No. 1 women's tennis player, 5,109 points ahead of world No. 2 Azarenka. Comparatively, that was about the amount of points between Azarenka and world No. 14 Ivanovic.

Williams, the winner of four out of the past seven Grand Slams, should remain the heavy favorite in the remainder of 2014 tournaments. Anyone uttering the words "washed up," or even "too old," hasn't watched her play much tennis over the past two years.

Letdowns haven't slowed her down. If anything, they've only motivated her even further.


David Daniels is a breaking news writer for Bleacher Report and news editor for Wade-O Radio.