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Williams left in awe in Brisbane

By AAP .
31 December 2013 08:59PM EST

THE bad news for rivals is that world No.1 Serena Williams has been inspired by 43-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm's remarkable tennis comeback.

The good news is that Williams has not been motivated to play into her 40s.

Usually 17-time grand slam winner Williams is the one who leaves people in awe.

But the 32-year-old reckoned she had nothing on Japan's world No.75 Date-Krumm, who missed a chance to play Williams in the Brisbane International quarterfinals when she bowed out on Tuesday.

Former world No.4 Date-Krumm famously retired in 1996, only to launch a stunning comeback 12 years later.

Williams is showing no signs of slowing down after a remarkable 2013 season, outclassing Germany's Andrea Petkovic's 6-4 6-4 in the Brisbane second round on Tuesday.

However, Williams can see the end is nigh - sort of.

Asked if Date-Krumm had inspired her to play for another decade, Williams said: "I actually just thought about that.

"In the locker room I passed her, and I thought 'she's so awesome ... to be out here at her age'.

"She's way more fit than I am. I mean, she's probably the most fit female on tour.

"It's super-inspiring."

But she added: "I don't see myself playing at that age. I hope not."

Not that Williams was selling herself short despite being reduced to mere mortal status as she booked a quarterfinal against Slovakian ninth seed Dominika Cibulkova, who ousted Date-Krumm 6-3 1-6 6-3 on Tuesday.

The defending champion looked bewildered when she stormed to the net in the second set for yet another winner, only to completely miss former world No.9 Petkovic's floating return.

Petkovic - now the world No.43 - had a good natured giggle but there was little else to smile about as Williams extended her overall winning streak to 19 matches.

"I was definitely embarrassed. I hope it doesn't make any news reels," Williams said.

But Williams added: "I'm a renowned perfectionist. I think I wrote the book on being perfect."

Few could argue looking at her 2013 stats.

Finishing the year with 11 titles and more than $12 million in prizemoney, Williams' French and US Open triumphs took her grand slam tally one short of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova and just five shy of Steffi Graf's open-era record of 22.

Her 2013 match record stood at 78-4.

Asked how she would top that, Williams said: "I had a similar question in 2012.

"I had such a good year winning two slams and a gold and two doubles.

"I just didn't think I could do better. I'm just going to be up for that challenge again."

Meanwhile, former world No.1 Jelena Jankovic crushed Ukraine's Elina Svitolina 6-1 6-3 to cruise into the quarterfinals.

In Tuesday's late match, 2012 finalist Kaia Kanepi easily defeated Spanish eighth seed Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2 6-2.

Kanepi will next meet the winner of Wednesday's clash between world No.4 Maria Sharapova and Australian teenager Ashleigh Barty in the quarter-finals.

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