Tennis-Lean and mean Serena bemoans form despite reaching final
MELBOURNE Jan 29 (Reuters) - Serena Williams may have advanced to her fourth Australian Open final on Thursday, but the American remains unhappy with her form despite training harder than ever for the first grand slam of the season.
The second seed overcame a 0-3 deficit and a heavy fall to beat fourth seeded Russian Elena Dementieva 6-3 6-4 and move through to Saturday's title match against Dinara Safina, where she will be bidding for a fourth success in as many finals.
"This year I didn't take too much time off at all," Williams told reporters of her preparations before the Australian Open.
Williams, who is seeking her 10th grand slam title, entered the tournament looking fitter than she has in many years at Melbourne Park and has said previously she was not performing on court as well as she had in practice.
"Actually, this whole Australia swing, I was just really struggling with my form, for whatever reason, 'cause I definitely put in the time, but just didn't come together.
"So I was shocked that my form wasn't stellar for the first match I played in Sydney, let alone here (in Melbourne).
"I just really wasn't playing well at all (from her second round match on at Melbourne Park) and I just wasn't bringing it.
"I thought that I was just gonna have to not complain and just do whatever it takes to win."
Despite winning matches while not feeling she was at her best, Williams acknowledged she needed to improve to overcome Safina, who she beat in the semi-finals at last year's U.S. Open.
As an additional sweetener, whoever takes the title will also become the new world number one.
"This is definitely not over. I have to play a really tough opponent who wants to win.
"She's obviously clearly extremely fit.
"But my goal isn't to be number one, my goal is to obviously now win one more match here at the Australian Open." (Editing by John O'Brien)
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