Serena Williams back to Beijing for new crown

Updated: 2013-09-27 10:32

By Glenn Carl (

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Serena Williams back to Beijing for new crown

Serena Williams of the US arrives at the Beijing International Airport in Beijing, on Sept 26, 2013. [Photo/CFP]

2004 saw a budding champion rise to the occasion for a tournament win at the China Open. Now in 2013, that champion returns to Beijing a certified legend. Serena Williams is back.

Coming off a dominant performance at the US Open where she defeated Victoria Azarenka for her 17th major win, Serena brings a nearly flawless season record to this year's China Open. Two major championships, nine titles overall, and a match record of 67-4 this year alone only further bolsters the resume for one of the greatest players of all time.

Since her last win in Beijing, Williams has added 11 major wins to her name, including six in the last four years. At 32 years old, she is playing arguably the best tennis of her career and doesn't show signs of slowing down any time soon. As the current world No 1 she will once again be the tournament favorite. And as for the surface, that's just one more thing that plays to her advantage. Four of her nine titles in 2013 have come on hard courts, and two of her four losses have come in the finals of hard court tournaments.

Beijing last saw her take the court in 2009, and Williams' return couldn't come at a more important moment. This year's China Open marks the tournament's 10th anniversary, and it's only fitting that the inaugural champion is on hand for a chance to give the host country another taste of hard court magic.

Serena defeated Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova in the 2004 final that went the distance, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. Kuznetsovais a two-time China Open champion and is also in this year's field, ranked No 27, setting up a potential rematch with her old counterpart.

A strong bond connects the place and the competitor. In addition to her past success at the China Open, Serena and her sister Venus won an Olympic gold medal for doubles here in 2008.

There's a lot to celebrate over the next 10 days. Whether it's longevity, athletic achievement, or the return of greatness,the 2013 China Open is going to be a celebration of much more than tennis.

And Serena Williams will undoubtedly be a big part of that celebration.

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