Serena plays down injury fears


Defending champion and world number one Serena Williams has allayed fitness concerns heading into the Australian Open, insisting she is training at "130 per cent".

Williams was responding to questions after pictures emerged of the top seed appearing to be in discomfort during a practice session in Melbourne on Saturday.

The 21-time grand slam champion has had limited preparation due to a knee injury that forced her to withdraw during the Hopman Cup last week.

Williams, though, said she is ready to go at Melbourne Park.

"I'm a little tired today. I've been working so hard and doing so much work," Williams said when asked if she had picked up an injury.

"Maybe I had a bad attitude out there."

Williams added: "I'm at 120, 130 percent right now. You know, this week, the weeks leading up, has been a lot of work.

"I actually wanted to have an easy day today. But to me in my mind 'easy' is just two hours of really intense working out."

Pressed on the knee injury and whether inflammation might be a problem moving forward, Williams said: "It's actually really fine. I don't have any inflammation anymore. It's just that I just needed some time to get over that little hump.

"I've been doing a lot of, lot of, lot of training leading up to this. But I'm totally -- I don't think I would need surgery at all."

Williams opens her Australian Open campaign against a tricky opponent, Italian Camila Giorgi, while a possible quarter-final showdown with Maria Sharapova looms.

Giorgi is the highest ranked unseeded player in the draw at 35.

"I always seem to have a tough draw, so it's fine. It doesn't matter who I play," Williams added.

"At some point you have to play everyone. You know, that's how it always works out. So that's what it is."