"We all know who the real number one is," Williams told a
news conference at the Italian Open on Monday. "Quite frankly,
I'm the best in the world."
Second-ranked Williams, who will face Swiss Patty Schnyder
in her opening match in Rome, felt she could back up her claim
because she owns 10 Grand Slam singles titles while Safina's
tally stands at zero.
Asked which opponent she feared most, the American quipped:
"Probably myself. I always beat myself."
Safina, the younger sister of former men's No. 1 Marat Safin, said time would tell if her rival was right.
"She can say this because she won many more Grand Slams than
me," the 23-year-old said.
"But she's also older than me so she has more experience. So
let's see when I'm her age how many titles I have and then we
can say," added Safina, who has contested 10 finals over the
past 12 months, winning four titles.
"It's not luck. Nobody gave it to me. I played two Grand Slam finals and last year I won four titles. This didn't come
out of sky."
The 27-year-old, who has already dabbled in fashion
designing and acting, said she was thinking about expanding her
"I've been writing, but I haven't been writing. In my mind
I've been saying I want to write, but I haven't actually
physically picked up a pencil and started writing," the U.S.
Open and Australian Open champion said.
"So that is my next challenge, to actually to sit down and
do it. No [not my life story]. A screenplay. Nothing is