May 13, 2012
Serena captures Madrid crown
By SPORTS NETWORK
MADRID - Serena Williams cruised past Victoria Azarenka on Sunday to capture the title at the Madrid Open.
The ninth-seeded Williams took down Azarenka, the No. 1 seed, 6-1, 6-3 in just 64 minutes.
The 30-year-old American fired 14 aces en route to winning her second title of the year. Williams also won the Charleston crown last month.
Williams is on a 13-match winning streak, her best since winning 17 straight in 2008.
The 13-time Grand Slam champ and former world No. 1 posted her 41st career title to move into a tie for second with Kim Clijsters for most titles won by active players.
Williams now owns five clay court titles, and has reached back-to-back finals on clay for the first time since 2002, when she reached three consecutive finals.
Azarenka fell to 4-2 in title matches this year. She was the runner-up at this event last year, losing to Petra Kvitova, who was taken out this week by Lucie Hradecka in the second round.
"I think Victoria is the player to beat," Williams said. "She has won I don't know how many tournaments this year alone. That's an amazing amount. So if you look at the stats, you just have to put her up there as the player to beat.
"My whole thing is to play consistently. That's what I've done the last couple weeks - and doing what I do best, which at the end of the day is playing tennis.
"I belong on a tennis court. That's where I feel amazing."
Williams improved to 7-1 lifetime against Azarenka. The Belarusian's lone win in the series came in the 2009 Miami final, a 6-3, 6-1 rout. Williams has since won the last five meetings, dropping just one set in the process. The two last squared off in the third round of last year's U.S. Open and Williams prevailed in a 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) victory.
With the win, Williams took home $830,500.