Serena sets sights on reclaiming top spot

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Serena Williams' victory over Lindsay Davenport on Saturday not only broke her Grand Slam drought, but also silenced critics who had suggested that she and her sister, Venus, were in terminal decline.

Serena Williams' victory over Lindsay Davenport on Saturday not only broke her Grand Slam drought, but also silenced critics who had suggested that she and her sister, Venus, were in terminal decline.

Serena will soar from world No 7 - her lowest position since 1998 - to No 2 when the rankings are released today. She has now set her sights on regaining the No 1 spot, still held by Davenport, and on winning the French Open.

Down a set and facing a break, the 23-year-old American recovered to win 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 and capture her seventh Grand Slam title. "I've always considered myself the best and the top," she said. "I never considered that I was out of it."

Williams, treated for a back injury early in the match, added: "It's that much sweeter because people are always wondering about what's happening to us. There's nothing wrong with us. We're still players to beat."

It was, however, her first triumph in a major since Wimbledon 2003. She underwent knee surgery afterwards, and suffered personal tragedy when her older sister, Yetunde Price, was murdered in Los Angeles.

Venus, also plagued by injury, lost in the quarter-finals here to Australia's Alicia Molik and has not won a Grand Slam since Wimbledon 2001.

Serena was delighted to beat Maria Sharapova, who defeated her in last year's Wimbledon final, in the semi-finals in Melbourne.

Williams said: "I'm almost to my goal [No 1] and it feels great." She wanted to win in Paris, she said, because, "I've won two of each already except for the French."

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