Serena Williams rolls to victory in Australian OpenJanuary 31st, 2009 - 9:07 pm ICT by IANS
Melbourne, Jan 31 (DPA) Serena Williams underlined her status as a major force in tennis, earning her tenth Grand Slam singles title in a decade with a 6-0, 6-3 over luckless Russian Dinara Safina in the Australian Open final Saturday.It took less than an hour for Williams to also reclaim for the third time the world number one position which she has held for 63 weeks of her career.
The American and the Russian were playing a winner-take-all final for the top spot, with Safina’s dream of joining her big brother Marat Safin as a top-ranked player ground into the hard court by the Williams juggernaut.
“I didn’t even spend one hour on the court,” said a subdued Safina. “Serena played just too good - I was just a ballboy out there today.”
Williams, 27, stretched her Melbourne success run to four titles after earlier wins in 2003, 2005 and 2007. Her title came a day after she lifted the doubles crown with her sister Venus Williams.
She perhaps inadvertently rubbed salt into the wound of the one-way rout as she congratulated Safina for playing in a “great show for women’s tennis”.
“Dinara has a great future,” said the American with 23 winners and just seven unforced errors. “She was hitting so hard I had to go for broke.
“I’m so excited, I clearly love playing here,” she said after collecting 2 million Australian dollars (US$ 1.28 million) while Safina had to settle for half the sum.
Safina now stand 0-2 in Grand Slam finals after losing to Ana Ivanovic at Roland Garros last June. The Russian had advanced to the semi-finals or better at three of the last four Grand Slams including the US Open.
Safina got off to the worst possible start, serving up three double-faults in her first service game to hand Williams a 2-0 lead from which the American never looked back.
The first set was hers in 22 minutes with Safin winning just eight points and Williams holding all of the momentum.
Safina briefly came to life to start the second, firing a return winner to break for 1-0. It took one game for Williams to get it back for 1-all as normal service resumed from the second seed.
But that was the extent of the Safin attack with Williams advancing on the first of three match points from the Russian’s unforced error to end a quick evening.
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