Serena Williams extended the best run of her career on Sunday by winning the Italian Open title in a rout of third-seeded Victoria Azarenka on the clay in Rome.
The top-ranked American has now won 24 matches in a row and four consecutive tournament titles with the 6-1, 6-3 victory over the 23-year-old from Belarus. The domination by Williams began early by breaking Azarenka's first two service games.
Williams, 31, had 41 winners compared with 12 for the two-time reigning Australian Open champion and also served nine aces. She also avenged her last defeat, a three-set loss to Azarenka in the Qatar Open in February.
Next is the French Open, where Williams was upset in the first round last year by No. 111-ranked Virginie Razzano.
“It wasn’t easy, nothing is ever easy,” Williams said. “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.”
Williams, a 15-time Grand Slam singles champion, will be looking to repeat what she accomplished in 2002: winning the French Open after a victory in the Italian Open. That was the only time she won at Roland Garros.
Azarenka was quite impressed with Williams' effort Sunday.
“She definitely showed incredible tennis today,” Azarenka said. “But I don't think the score says how close the match was. She was better at the key moments.”
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