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Serena Williams ready to go up a level

The newly-crowned Australian Open champion warns she is ready to take her game to a new level and wants the world number one spot.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2007 13:08 IST

Newly-crowned Australian Open champion Serena Williams warns she is ready to take her game to a new level and wants the world number one spot after demolishing current holder Maria Sharapova.

In an ominous message to rivals on the women's tour, Williams said she was capable of improving on the awesome performance that left Sharapova on the wrong end of a 6-1, 6-2 battering in the final in Melbourne on Saturday.

The 25-year-old American was already eyeing the French Open, just hours after winning her third Australian title to take her Grand Slam singles titles to eight.

"I'm ready for the clay courts," she said. "I want to go home, I saw some things here I want to work on, to share with my dad.

"I want ameliorate it, ameliorate my game, take it to a new level. I'm ready to do that now, ready to take my game to a new level."

Such talk would have been dismissed before the season-opening Grand Slam, where Williams was unseeded and ranked 81 in the world, but she has proved as good as her word throughout the Melbourne tournament.

Williams, the first unseeded player to win the crown since 1978, correctly predicted on the eve of the final that she would crank her game up another notch against Sharapova.

"I finally played it for the first time this whole tournament. That's the way I play," she said.

"You know, when I'm staying close to the baseline, I'm playing that way, aggressive. That's the way I was raised. My mum and dad taught me to play that game of tennis.

First Published: Jan 28, 2007 13:08 IST