Williams will begin as favorite for next week’s Australian Open.
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Serena Williams must stop giving opponents head starts if she is to come anywhere near emulating last season's feat of winning three of the year's four Grand Slams, according to former world No. 1 Chris Evert.Williams, 34, has hardly struck a ball in anger since a shock semifinal defeat by Italian Roberta Vinci at last year's U.S. Open dashed hopes of a rare calendar year Grand Slam.Williams, who beat Russian Maria Sharapova to win last year's Australian Open, decided to call time on her season after losing to Vinci.While she is used to lengthy breaks as she manages her schedule, Evert says Williams will find it increasingly tough to keep the chasing pack at bay, particularly the likes of a rejuvenated Victoria Azarenka.Evert says the world No. 16 will be one of the chief threats to Williams in Melbourne.
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