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The caravan heads to a court about a half-mile from the house and begins loading out the gear.It's two days before the start of the Sony Open in Miami, one of the circuit's premier nonmajors and the first significant test for Serena since she was upset in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open after spraining an ankle that had ballooned to three times its normal size. Serena has been giving tennis the two-finger salute for more than half her life. "Lots of my friends have been telling me lately that I'm spoiled," Serena says with a baffled look on her face. I'm not spoiled.'"I almost spit Coke through my nose. If she'd pulled a Jamesian I'm-taking-my-talents-to-South Beach event, she would have put it on pay-per-view and hawked her Home Shopping Network-all-under-a-hundred-bucks fashion line during the commercial breaks. Serena's dominance has been fueled by not giving a shit what you or anyone else thinks about her methods. Get back to me when Le Bron beats Kevin Durant's Oklahoma City Thunder every time for nine years. Sharapova is tall, white and blond, and, because of that, makes more money in endorsements than Serena, who is black, beautiful and built like one of those monster trucks that crushes Volkswagens at sports arenas. The chasm between Serena and the rest of women's tennis is as vast and broad as the space between Ryan Lochte's ears.After each one, tennis gurus whispered, "That was Serena's last hurrah."Not quite.This year she has won the past four tournaments she's entered and is on a 31-match winning streak, the longest of her career.
She runs women's tennis like Kim Jong-un runs North Korea: ruthlessly, with spare moments of comedy, indolence and the occasional appearance of a split personality. Serena is the number-one tennis player in the world.
("I don't know where all that mentor stuff came from," Serena says.
"I am definitely not that girl's mentor.")She's been recovering from the ankle injury for two months, but if anyone is feeling the pressure, nobody shows it.
Bajin is ready to warm up, but Serena has other things on her mind.
"I had a dream last night," she says to no one in particular.