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Serena Williams will play in her 7th Australian Open thesource.com

Serena Williams may not start as favorite at her 7th Australian Open appearance, but there’s still plenty on the line for her. If she is able to win the tournament, it will be her 23rd Grand Slam title, thereby setting a world record by surpassing Steffi Graph.

While a year ago, it seemed like a no-brainer, Serena suffered a back-breaking experience in 2016.

She lost the Australian Open final to Germany’s Angelique Kerber. She has even lost her top ranking.

The Rio Olympic Games will also probably not provide the American with many happy memories.

As a fan of hers, it was disappointing to see her struggle with nagging injuries and losing so many hard-fought matches in the latter stages.

Years ago, when she turned pro in 1995, not many had pinned her for the sort of dominance that she has shown. To think that she is now in her mid-30s and still so proficient adds to her aura.

But, it hasn’t come easy. She’s a warrior, who has worked relentlessly for over two decades to achieve an unbelievable level of fitness.

At an age when many professionals hang up their boots and look out for lucrative alternatives, she is still going strong.

At 35, she has undeniably defied all stereotypes. She has built her extraordinary career by virtue of sheer hard work, and whenever injuries posed a threat to her career, she bounced back even stronger than before.

Forget the stats though. In 2015, pretty much everything went right for Serena. Tennis, like all sports, presents its ups and downs.

But, one thing is quite certain about Serena. She will not give up.

She picked up a tennis racket at the age of 3, and the rest is a well-documented history.

Australian Open can bring a magical start to this season for Serena, the sort that she probably needs.

Though not the top-seeded player, she wouldn’t see that as much of a concern.

Her powerful serve, strong backhand and capability of dictating the pace of the match should be enough for her to cross any hurdle.

Serena, let’s see that big grin once again!

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