DOHA - Serena Williams needs only one more win to become world No.1 for the first time in two-and-a-half years after reaching the quarter-finals of the Qatar Open on Thursday.
As Australian Samantha Stosur won again to set up a quarter-final meeting with world No.3 Maria Sharapova, 15-time grand slam title winner Williams took less than an hour to complete a 6-0 6-3 thrashing of Urszula Radwanska to move to the brink of another remarkable achievement. A year ago, after a series of injuries, Williams' career seemed in danger.
Now, after triumphs at Wimbledon, the US Open and the Olympics, and struggling against ankle and back injuries and a cold this week, she is almost back to where many believe she deserves to be - at the top again.
Williams was not allowing her feelings to distract her, however, offering a smokescreen of anti-climactic words to avoid sharing premature pleasure with the crowd.
"Not really", she said, when asked if she were thinking about becoming No.1 again.
"I am so over it. It's like everyone is thinking about it. I have a really tough opponent."
Asked what she thought of the prospect of becoming the oldest player to reach the top ranking again, she said: "It's awesome. Since I didn't do the youngest, I figure I'll do the oldest."