A bead of perspiration
Muguruza barely had time to break a bead of perspiration as she raced through her opening match, flattening Lauren Davis 6-1, 6-3 and she was happily back in her hotel by the time Williams was powering her way through a two-hour, 7-5, 6-3 win over her old pal Vika Azarenka. This was the women’s match of the year so far with the two former No.1s, former Indian Wells champions and current working mums competed eyeballs-out for every single point. So impressive was the display that the quiet little town of Indian Wells was still buzzing with the result the following day.
“You can't really enjoy it, because then you'll lose focus,” Williams said of the epic. “So it's like you've got to kind of stay in the moment, you know. Sometimes you realise, Oh, my God, this is going to be a classic. But you can't let your mind go there, because you wouldn't want to watch it in the future.”
But she was enjoying the aftermath of the drama – now Serena knew she was ready for battle again.
Be ready for anything
In Australia, she was 5-1 up in the third set against Karolina Pliskova and held a match point. She was one point away from the semi-finals and then she appeared to turn her ankle. From that moment on, she was never the same player again. The fight and champion’s spirit that had carried her to 23 Grand Slam titles in the past just faded away and her challenge for that elusive 24th major trophy was over. It ended not with a bang but a whimper.