MIAMI, FL, USA - Serena Williams, who withdrew prior to her semifinal match at Indian Wells last week due to a knee injury, met the press in Miami on Wednesday and gave an update on her health.
"I'm okay. I'm just managing where I am right now," Williams told reporters in her pre-tournament press conference. "I'm just trying to stay out of pain as much as possible and see what happens."
The World No.1 hit the practice courts on Wednesday, her first time hitting since the withdrawal.
"I hit some balls today for the first time," Williams said about the session. "I mean, it's okay. I know I'm going to have to manage the pain. I think you just have to figure out the best way around it."
And she's intending to test it out when she plays her opening match on Friday night.
"I don't want to put too much pressure on it before then," Williams said.
"I'm here in Miami, so I'm going to go for it and see what happens."
Coincidentally, Williams will open her campaign against Monica Niculescu - the same player she played in her opener at Indian Wells two weeks ago. It was about as close a two-setter as possible, and with that challenge looming again, it takes a lot of desire for Williams to play through the pain.
But she definitely has that desire for this tournament.
"I definitely don't have low expectations," Williams declared. "I definitely expect to do the best that I can. Whether that's winning or just stepping out on the court, that's what I'm going to have to do. I don't feel any pressure because I've won this title a few times, so I feel good about being here. When I hit on the court today, there's just something about Miami, you know - I just feel so good out here.
"I love this tournament. I love Miami. We'll see."
Williams is undeniably the queen of the Miami Open - she has seven titles here, which isn't just more than she has at any other WTA event, but more than any other player in the tournament's history.
Her seven titles came in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2013 and 2014. The closest of those finals came in 2007, when she fought off two match points and outlasted Justine Henin, 0-6, 7-5, 6-3.