Serena claims Madrid crown

Serena Williams crushes world number one Victoria Azarenka 6-1 6-3 to clinch her second title of the year.

    Serena claims Madrid crown
    Williams has now won back-to-back WTA clay titles after claiming Charleston in the US last month [EPA]

    Serena Williams overpowered the top-ranked Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-3 to win the Madrid Open on Sunday.

    In a clash of two of the tour's heaviest hitters, Williams battered Azarenka around the new blue-clay court with her big serve and vicious return to take the first four games and never look back.

    Williams served 14 aces on her way to avenging her only loss in six previous meetings with Azarenka when she fell to the Belarusian in the 2009 final in Miami.

    It was the 30-year-old Williams' 41st title and second of the season as she remained unbeaten in her last 13 matches on clay.

    The loss ended Azarenka's run of winning her last four tournaments.

    Best ahead

    "I can still do better,'' Williams said when asked if she had found her best form following her return from a yearlong absence due to illness in 2011.

    "This is really good. I have been working hard. I had some tough battles and really unfortunate circumstances so I really love this.''

    Later, Roger Federer faces Tomas Berdych as the Swiss star seeks his third title here in the men's final.

    Williams broke Azarenka's first service game when the Australian Open winner could only stab her powerful return into the stands.

    William's strong start left Azarenka shaken, and she hit three double faults to cede her serve again and trail 3-0.

    The flustered Azarenka netted a forehand after Williams had fallen on the slick surface and left the entire court open. She then produced another double fault to cap a disastrous first set. Williams kept the momentum going, hitting her fifth and sixth aces to hold for love at the start of the second set.

    As her frustration boiled over, Azarenka smashed her racket into the ground moments before Williams blasted a return by her to break her yet again.

    The 13-time Grand Slam winner sealed the victory in one hour, four minutes with her final ace.

    "I want to congratulate Serena for a great week. She did a great job,'' Azarenka said.

    SOURCE: AP


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