Even by her own lofty standards, Serena Williams has produced a near-perfect season in 2013.
And it’s for this reason that you would want her playing for your town during Australian Open 2014 as part of the AO Blitz.
Williams has produced many a dominant season before. There was her incredible 2002, where she won in Paris, London and New York to claim the first three legs of her famed “Serena Slam”. In 2009, she won the Australian, Wimbledon and season-ending WTA titles to finish the year at No.1. And in 2012, she completed a stunning comeback from a life-threatening illness to win the Wimbledon and US Open titles, Olympic gold and the WTA Championships, losing just once in a sparking second half of the season.
Yet in 2013, she’s taken it to a new level. With her 10th title of the year in Beijing, she took her win-loss record to a staggering 73-4 – never before has Williams won more titles or matches in one season. In February she became the oldest woman ever to rank No.1, and she’s stayed there ever since. Although she’s been challenged along the way – most notably by Victoria Azarenka, who’s beaten her in two finals this season – Williams has generally been without peer.
And she shows no signs of slowing down, even at 32 years of age and in her 18th season as a pro.
So how can you get Serena playing for your town at Australian Open 2014?
It’s easy – the more points you earn by completing challenges, the more points you earn for your nominated town. And the higher your town finishes on the leader-board, the more chance it will have of being represented by a highly seeded player. The top two towns on the leader-board will flip a coin to see which one scores the top-seeded male player, or the top-seeded female.
Your town could be associated with Williams at Australian Open 2014; giant information screens around Melbourne Park, plus scheduling signage, would feature her name, nationality and the Australian town she’s ‘playing for’.
It’s a pretty exciting concept, especially when you consider the prizes on offer. If your representative player wins the men’s or women’s Australian Open singles title, your town will be treated to an AO Blitz party for the entire community, and a whole host of other prizes.
Judging by her form, it would be hard to go past Serena as the best bet to hoist the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup in 2014.
Williams has enjoyed somewhat of a love-affair with Melbourne ever since capturing her first title Down Under in 2003. She’s since taken her tally to five with victories in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010, beating, respectively, former No.1s Venus Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Maria Sharapova, Dinara Safina and Justine Henin in those title matches.
Considering such opposition, her record at the Australian Open is as impressive as it gets. Although she has since won a fifth title at both Wimbledon and the US Open, Melbourne Park was where she first achieved such an accolade.
And given it will have been four years since her last Australian title – it’s the major title she’s gone the longest without – Williams will arrive in Melbourne with extra motivation. That spells danger for her rivals; no player on Earth is more devastating than Serena when she has unfinished business, or a point to prove.
The world No.1 will be one of the players everyone’s talking about come January next year. And by registering for the AO Blitz and completing as many challenges as you can, you'll increase your chances of having her competing for your town at Australian Open 2014.