• WTA

Serena crushes Pavlyuchenkova to take Brisbane title

ESPN staff
January 5, 2013 « Dodson chasing pigs & squirrels to prepare for Johnson | Chartbeat test »
Serena Williams climbs into a backhand © Getty Images
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Serena Williams fired out a warning to her Australian Open rivals with a demolition of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the final of the Brisbane International.

Williams was the dominant force in women's tennis in 2012, despite not ending the year as world No. 1. That could well be a target for the 15-time grand slam champion as she mopped up her first title of 2013 in stunning fashion.

She was matched early on, but from the moment she broke through in the sixth game it was one-way traffic as Williams wrapped up a 6-2 6-1 win.

Williams came under pressure in the first game, but a booming backhand winner and an ace staved off the threat.

Pavlyuchenkova matched Williams for five games, but a double fault on serve in the sixth left the door ajar and a brilliant forehand down the line secured the break.

Pavlyuchenkova wilted on serve and a double fault handed Williams her fourth game in a row to take the first set.

Serena Williams romps to victory

Williams carried the momentum into the second set, she sent down a serve - admittedly a fault - at a quite stunning 197kmph - and she broke through at the start of the stanza as Pavlyuchenkova had no answer to the power coming back at her.

Such was the confidence running through Williams, she advanced to the net early in the second set to execute a quite exquisite forehand crosscourt volley to secure the break of serve.

Pavlyuchenkova stopped the rot with a love service hold in the fourth game, but it did not stem the tide as Williams wrapped up her 47th WTA title in style - securing a love hold with a wrong-footing backhand crosscourt.

Li Na secured her seventh career title when beating Klara Zakopalova 6-3 1-6 7-5 to win the Shenzhen Longgang Gemdale Open.

The No. 1 seed was also victorious at the ASB Classic in Auckland, as Agnieszka Radwanska had no trouble in disposing of Yanina Wickmayer 6-4 6-4 to take the title.

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