Serena retains Madrid Open crown

World number one secures the 50th title of her career with a resounding 6-1, 6-4 victory over Maria Sharapova.

    Serena retains Madrid Open crown
    The victory marked Williams' fourth tournament success of 2013 but only her seventh clay title since turning professional in 1995 [AFP]

    Serena Williams retained her Madrid Open title on Sunday with a devastating display to beat world number two Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-4.

    The title is Williams' 50th of her singles career and extends her amazing run over Sharapova who she hasn't lost to in 12 meetings since 2004.

    "Thank you to everyone, to all my fans and to Maria. I am very happy," Williams said afterwards.

    Sharapova though was left to reflect on once again coming up short against the world number one.

    "Thank you to everyone for being so supportive in every single match.

    "It was quite special and I wish I could have went an extra round but there are many more years for me.

    "Congratulations to Serena for an excellent match and her excellent week as well."

    Dominant display

    Williams, who would have lost her place at the top of the rankings had she lost to the Russian, was dominant from the off as she pounced on the Sharapova serve at every opportunity to roar into a 4-0 lead.

    Sharapova did eventually get on the board in the fifth game, but there was little she could do to save the set as another crunching backhand return sealed it for the American 6-1.

    Sharapova did manage to react at the start of the second as she broke in the first game and backed it up with two solid service games of her own to lead 3-1.

    However, again Williams upped the power and depth on her groundstrokes forcing Sharapova onto the back foot and she broke back comfortably to level at 3-3.

    Both players then staved off a break point in their next service games before Williams moved to with a game of victory with a comfortable hold.

    And once again the Sharapova serve crumbled under the pressure as a double fault brought up three match points and Williams converted on the first as Sharapova fired long to seal victory in just over an hour and a quarter.

    SOURCE: AFP


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