MELBOURNE - Serena Williams is heading off to Miami for the American football Super Bowl this weekend buoyed by her fifth title at the Australian Open.
The American finally won in Melbourne during an even-numbered year (previous titles came in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009), taking a 6-4 3-6 6-2 win over Justine Henin.
Williams, now a 12-time Grand Slam winner - and a minority owner along with sister Venus in the Miami Dolphins - can't help boasting about another of the multitude of perks in her charmed life.
"I do have Super Bowl tickets, but they're for sale," said Williams. "Hello. They're like 10 000 dollars (R75000). They're nice suite seats."
The next days should give the world No 1 some respite after playing the Grand Slam in the garb of a mummy due to the massive amount of taping on her various injuries.
"I pulled a hamstring in Sydney, so I was devastated by that," she explained. "However, when I strapped it, it felt a lot better. And then something happened to the side of my leg in Sydney. Of course, I tape my ankles for prevention. I think in the third round I twisted my ankle, and I fell against Victoria Azarenka and hurt my wrist. And then somewhere in between there my toes started hurting ..."
The pain is sure to be soothed by the R14 million winner's cheque along with some extra for lifting the doubles title with Venus. Losing finalist Henin remained amazed at her run to the title shot after playing only since the start of January.
The 27-year-old said her next tournament target will likely be Indian Wells from March 10 in California. - Sapa