Serena Williams, the queen of tennis, has painted a lonely picture of herself as she prepares for a quarterfinal match against Maria Sharapova in the Australian Open.

The American loves Melbourne, but has been touring the city solo, she explained in the Guardian.

Williams said: "I have been spending a lot of time learning about myself this trip. It's been kind of sad. I have been, like, alone a lot. It's been kind of like boring.

"I think I hate being by myself. As much as I always want to be alone, I don't think I like it so much. It's just been ... it's been long! I feel like I have been here for three months. No, I love it here in Australia."

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On Melbourne, the 21 Grand Slam title winner said: "I love how it's just this little world here that no one can discover or appreciate unless you come. They have the best cafes; they have the best restaurants. I learned a couple years ago that Melbourne is famous for its coffee, which I would have never even known.

"I love discovering those little places. I love, like, the organic shops that are around town that are really cool. I just love this little ... this world. It's so many wonderful things that I'm always discovering every time I come here."