Serena's coach: On-court coaching will continue despite US Open furore

Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki lifts her maiden Grand Slam at Melbourne Park a year ago

Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki lifts her maiden Grand Slam at Melbourne Park a year ago

Williams trails only Margaret Court in that category, and she came painfully close to tying her record previous year in at Wimbledon and the US Open, losing in the final of both events to Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka, respectively.

And Evert, an 18-time slam victor who will be part of ESPN's coverage of the tournament, believes that ultimately Williams' hefty list of accomplishments will outweigh the few contentious moments in her glittering career.

Serena Williams has been handed a challenging draw in her quest for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, starting with Germany's Tatjana Maria in the first round. "It's something that I clearly want but I have to be able to get there and beat a lot of good players to get it", the American said.

An indication of the steel that lies beneath her humble demeanour came in her outing after the US Open, the Pan-Pacific Open in Tokyo, when she breezed into the final without conceding a set.

Serena Williams' road to her record-tying Grand Slam championship could have to go through Naomi Osaka. Williams, seeded 16th this year, later gave birth to her daughter that year and skipped Melbourne while recovering from complications during birth.

Last year's semi-finalist Kyle Edmund looms as a possible fourth round match-up for the Spaniard, who could then face big-serving Kevin Anderson in the quarter-finals.

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Yet she appears to have put the emotional turmoil experienced in NY behind her and is revelling in her status as standard bearer for the next generation of women's players.

The manner in which she claimed her maiden Slam was far from ideal - with Serena's furious tirade against the umpire overshadowing Osaka's breakthrough moment.

"I never feel pressure to perform". While she is the leading light for the next generation, the world number four´s status as second favourite points to a lack of serious rivals for Williams among the more established players.

The 28-year-old Dane insists she can manage the debilitating auto-immune condition, which sometimes leaves her so exhausted she cannot raise her arms above her head.

Famously, Roger Federer won the men's singles last year and will be looking to make this his 100th tournament victory by winning again this year. Two-time major champion and former number one Garbine Muguruza was another who had an injury-blighted 2018 which saw her drop out of the top 10.

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