Tennis: Serena says she wants Aussie Open title more badly than any other player

MELBOURNE (AFP) - World No. 1 Serena Williams on Saturday declared that none of her rivals could match her desire to win the Australian Open and if they wanted the title, they would have to fight her for it.

The 18-time Grand Slam champion won the last of her five Australian crowns in 2010 and expressed frustration that a sixth had eluded her for so long.

With an ignominious round-four exit at last year's tournament clearly still rankling, Williams said her determination to claim a win was stronger than any other player in the 128-strong field.

"I've been going for number six for a number of years now - it would be really special for me, I'd be really happy," said the bookmakers' favourite to win the tournament.

Another Australian title would take her to second on the all-time Grand Slam winners list behind Steffi Graf's 22, having joined Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova on 18 with her win at Flushing Meadows.

Williams, 33, said it was exciting but also daunting to contemplate reaching the German great's benchmark.

"Twenty-two is so far away from 18 - when you're 18 years old, you look at someone that's 21 and you think they're old," she said.

"So it's a really big distance to get to 22. I can't think that far ahead. I just have to think about 2015 at the Australian Open in particular."

Williams displayed some erratic form in the Hopman Cup this month and admitted feeling "a little off" heading into the opening Grand Slam of the season.

But she said that was not a bad thing, considering she went into last year's event convinced she was in amazing form, only to crash out early to Ana Ivanovic.

"I still want to improve some things. I feel like I should be doing some things better but every day I can see something coming through, so there's light at the end of the tunnel."

She faces a potential rematch of her US Open final against Caroline Wozniacki in the quarters.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.