Serena_Ñés streak hits 24
Originally published on: 20/05/13 00:00
The younger Williams sister looked unstoppable throughout the weeklong tournament in the Italian capital, dropping zero sets and just 14 games on her way to victory.
“The lady in the mirror is the ultimate opponent for me,” said the 15-time Grand Slam champ when asked who her main challenger will be at the French Open. “Last year I was feeling excellent on clay but didn't do that great at Roland Garros – this year I'm cautious and I want to work hard and stay focused and win every point I play, and not slack at all."
The American saw off world No.64 Simona Halep, who had upset Agnieszka Radwanska, Roberta Vinci and Jelena Jankovic earlier in the week, in the semi-final to set up a final meeting with Azarenka, who had found her way past Sam Stosur and Sara Errani in her previous two matches.
In the 12th head-to-head meeting between the pair, Williams’ combination of control and power proved too much for her Belarusian counterpart as the world No.1 let fly with 41 winners to just 19 errors to take the match 6-1 6-3.
"The first three games took about 20 minutes – it wasn't easy, nothing is ever easy," Williams said. "I think the difference today was I took the opportunities when I had them and came up with some really good shots. And this was the best I've moved all week – I feel fit, and hopefully it'll stay like this.”
Azarenka, who looked impressive in only her second tournament back after a two-month injury lay-off, conceded that Williams was just too good on the day.
“We had a lot of tight games and the match was closer than the score, but Serena played a very good match and was better in the important moments," Azarenka said. "She was just better than me today. She's playing incredible tennis, maybe she's at her best level for the last year and a half or so.”
The victory on Rome extended Williams record to 16-0 on clay this year and to 33-1 on the surface since the beginning of the clay-court season last year.