WTA Championships: World No 1 Serena Williams has no plans to retire after this year

Last Updated: 21/10/13 4:00pm

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Agnieszka Radwanska (l to r), Petra Kvitova, Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Li Na and Jelena Jankovic with the WTA Tour Championship trophy

Agnieszka Radwanska (l to r), Petra Kvitova, Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Li Na and Jelena Jankovic with the WTA Tour Championship trophy

Sky Bet

Serena Williams goes into this week's end-of-season WTA Tour Championships in Istanbul with her thoughts firmly on 2014.

The dominant world No 1 is not even considering retirement just yet, following another excellent season that has already yielded 10 Tour titles and two more Grand Slam trophies.

"There are so many great new players coming up. Everyone is so young, everyone is so hungry, everyone wants to be the next number one."
Serena Williams

The 32-year-old American is one of eight players in Turkey hoping to claim what is arguably the biggest title in the women's game - outside of the Slams.

During her career Williams has landed 17 Grand Slams and is hoping to overtake Steffi Graf's total of 22 before her playing days end.

As for her future plans, she said: "I never thought I would have one of my best years this year, and now there is an opportunity to do even better.

"I am interested for next year to take my game to a new level, which I think I can do.

"Even if I got to 23 Grand Slams, it would be very hard, you know, with so many wonderful players, especially now.

"There are so many great new players coming up. Everyone is so young, everyone is so hungry, everyone wants to be the next number one.

"So, you know, it's going to be even tougher for me to get to 18. Obviously that's my goal but I take it one match at a time."

Three years ago Williams missed almost 12 months of tennis action after suffering a pulmonary embolism which endangered her life.

And having survived this, she is determined to make the most of every season left in the game.

Survive

She went on: "It doesn't matter what happens to me in the present I never give up.

"If you have an opportunity to survive, you survive.

"I had overwhelming emotions when I returned to number one again. I never expected that again.

"I didn't think I would play again. It made me realise I have overcome a lot of things. I had a lot of help with that. I think all of that really, really made me feel I can do it."

This week's event features the world's top eight players, split into two groups of four.

The top two players from each group qualify for the semi-finals with Williams drawn to face Agnieszka Radwanska, Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber.

In the other group are Victoria Azarenka, Li Na, Sara Errani and Jelena Jankovic.

Maria Sharapova is absent through injury, while Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has retired.

Tuesday's three games feature Azarenka against Errani, followed by Williams taking on Kerber, with Radwanska meeting Kvitova.

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