Williams sends warning shot

World number one Serena Williams (4/9 to end 2014 as world number one) has sounded a warning to her fellow competitors by saying she is hoping to maintain her strong form in 2014.

The American is currently in action at the Brisbane International, where she is 4/5 to retain the title. She is set to face German Andrea Petkovic in the second round after receiving a bye.

Williams only suffered four defeats in a stellar 2013, a year that included her 16th and 17th Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros and the US Open, with the star 5/4 to retain the title at Flushing Meadows in 2014.

It is clear that Williams will be the one to beat again this season, and the American has admitted she is raring to go.

“I took a couple of weeks off, but I was already like kind of itching to get back on the court,” she said.

“I didn’t want to lose any rhythm or anything – didn’t want to lose momentum is the word I was looking for. I definitely wanted to move forward with that.”

Williams is fancied to claim her 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open next month, where she is currently evens favourite to take the crown.

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