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Serena all smiles on her arrival Down Under

Serena Williams was on her best behaviour when she arrived in Sydney on Saturday to put the finishing touches to her preparations for the Australian Open.

The American was all smiles as she turned on the charm offensive for the media scrum that greeted her in the arrivals hall at Sydney airport.

The world number one excitedly talked up her chances of successfully defending her title in Melbourne but politely declined to discuss her foul-mouthed attack on a lineswoman at last year's US Open. "I feel it's over. It was what it was," she said. "I think I've spoken enough about it."



suspension

Williams escaped a suspension after the Grand Slam Committee opted to slap her with a fine and a two-year probation, allowing her to compete in the Australian Open, starting in Melbourne on January 18. She has already won the title four times, in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009, and is looking forward to chasing a fifth title later this month. "It's all about doing the best that I can," she said.

"Obviously I love playing well in all the grand slams and I hate to lose, regardless of where it is.

"Whenever I play, I give 200 per cent and whether that's becoming number one as a result or becoming number 50, it doesn't matter as long as you enjoy what you do."

Meanwhile, American Andy Roddick recovered from a slow start to beat Tomas Berdych 1-6 6-3 6-4 today and join defending champion Radek Stepanek in the men's singles final at the Brisbane International.

Stepanek had earlier cruised into tomorrow's championship decider with a 6-2 6-1 win over Frenchman Gael Monfils but Roddick was made to work much harder to prevent an all-Czech final. "I didn't feel I played that badly in the first set, he just started so well," Roddick said.


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