Russia's Maria Sharapova prepares to make a forehand return during a practice session on Rod Laver Arena at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Mark Baker
January 17, 2015

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Serena Williams says her close friend Caroline Wozniacki is the fittest player on tour, and many would agree after the Danish former No. 1 completed the New York City Marathon - her first attempt at the 26-mile (42-kilometer) distance - in about 3 1-2 hours.

But Williams said Saturday that she doesn't share Wozniacki's love of running. Not even close.

''I do a lot of sprints. I need to keep my speed up,'' Williams said Saturday. ''I do distance to keep fit. I absolutely hate running, but I do it because I hate the way I look if I don't run.''

- By Dennis Passa - http://twitter.com/DennisPassa

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LOVING THE CHOICE: Maria Sharapova isn't sure what she enjoys more - playing tennis and winning tournaments or being a couch potato - but she appreciates having the ability to choose.

Sharapova has been hampered in the past by shoulder injuries and surgeries. Last year at Melbourne Park, she lost in the fourth round and then revealed she had a hip complaint.

This year's she's healthy, and appreciating it, though also considering the tempting alternatives.

''The best thing is that I'm here,'' she said Saturday. ''I have the opportunity to go out and try to win this tournament.

''It is sometimes nice to think that I could be on the couch watching on TV. I don't know if I'd actually be watching ... I don't know if I'd be drinking wine. Maybe a sangria actually.''

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- By Dennis Passa - http://twitter.com/DennisPassa

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Australian Open Scene follows tennis' first Grand Slam tournament of the year as seen by journalists from The Associated Press. It will be often be updated throughout the day.

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