Super-confident Serena Williams arrived in Australia on Saturday welcoming a blockbuster second-round showdown with Justine Henin at this week’s Sydney International.
“It’s good. It will be a good test for her, and for me,” Williams said.
Refusing to discuss her foul-mouthed attack on a lineswoman at September’s US Open, Williams’s steely focus was fixed on defending her Australian Open crown at Melbourne Park later this month.
“It’s all about now,” the American said.
Williams was fined an ITF-record $82,500 for abusing the Japanese official for foot-faulting her in what turned out to be the final game of her US Open semi-final against Kim Clijsters.
The foot-fault brought up match point for Clijsters and ultimately cost Williams the match after she was docked a point for the expletive-laden outburst.
But Williams was keen to leave the incident in the past.
“I feel it’s over. It was what it was. I think I’ve spoken enough about it.’
Sydney tournament officials couldn’t believe their bad luck when Williams and Henin – boasting 17 grand slam titles between them – were pitted in the same eighth of the draw for the Open’s premier warm-up event.
Top seed Williams has a first-round bye and, provided wildcard Henin beats Spanish left-hander Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, the two superstars will go head to head on today or tomorrow.
After 19 months in retirement, Henin this week made an immediate impact in her return to professional tennis, storming to the final of the Brisbane International.
Despite losing the final 6-3 4-6 7-6 (8-6) to Clijsters on Saturday night, Williams expected her great rival to be ready for their 14th career showdown.