MADRID - Serena Williams crushed world number one Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-3 on Sunday to win the Madrid Open and make a return to the number six ranking.
The American has now won back-to-back WTA clay titles, after claiming Charleston in the US a month ago, and hammered home her credentials as a serious threat at the French Open which begins in two weeks.
“I’m so happy to win this title,” said Williams, who now owns five trophies on clay. “I really felt good on the court.”
The bruising victory lifted the American to a 7-1 record over Azaranka, who won her only match in the series in Miami, 2009.
“I just want to play consistent and that’s what I’ve done the last few weeks,” said Williams. “I belong on a court. That’s where I do what I do best and feel amazing.”
Williams feels that her new number six ranking should be only a stepping stone to her ultimate goal.
“I don’t play to number two, no one does — we are all playing to be the best. Number one is my ultimate goal.”
The American swept to a double-break in 12 minutes at the start, secured the set in 26 minutes on a double-fault and continued the demolition in the second to complete the win in 64 minutes.
Williams has now won 13 consecutive claycourt matches, including at the Fed Cup in April. She owns 41 career titles.
Top seed Azarenka maintained a positive attitude with a fresh start in Rome beckoning on Monday.
“Serena played well and I didn’t” said the Belarussian. “She was so much better than me.”
“But I have to take the positives. These moments let you see what you can do better. I know I can come up with better things the next time – and I will.”
“There is always a chance. I had a few opportunities in the second set with break points but I didn’t take anything today. I tried to get back into the match as much as I could but it didn’t work.”