Serena Williams has won the Brisbane International. The younger Williams sister defended her title against Victoria Azarenka in the final, continuing to demonstrate her ability to dominate her opponents.
The powerful tennis icon had a great season in 2013, with 78 wins and only four losses. She beat her career record by winning 11 titles, having defeated Azarenka earlier at the U.S. Open final. Williams has a 13-3 record against Azarenka, defeating her three out of four times in 2013.
Despite a less than perfect performance during her games, with several dropped games against the younger Azarenka, Williams managed to find her stride and battle back for decisive match victories.
Many observers consider Azarenka to be the only true threat to Williams in the 2014 season. Although the rivalry does seem to be a bit one-sided, Azarenka is the closest thing to a serious challenger to Williams’ continued reign.
Williams also had to get past her rival Maria Sharapova in the Brisbane semifinals. She struggled a bit, matching seven double faults with seven aces during their battle, and winning only slightly better than half of her points while serving. This was offset by the fact that Sharapova had eight double faults herself during the contest. Sharapova is currently ranked as the third-seed female tennis player in the world by the WTA. Williams has defeated Sharapova 15 times in the past 17 matches. They may be meeting again during the Australian Open later this month.
Williams has been ranked as the Number One player in women’s singles tennis on six occasions, and is the highest-winning female player in the history of professional tennis. She holds the most combined wins of any active player, with records in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. She is the most recent player to have won all four Grand Slam singles titles, which she did in the 2002-2003 season, and only the fifth female pro to ever accomplish that prodigious feat.
Serena Williams has won four Olympic gold medals, and 13 Grand Slam doubles titles with her sister Venus Williams. The Williams sisters are unbeaten in Grand Slam finals. She currently holds titles for the French Open, U.S. Open, WTA Tour Championships and the women’s Olympic Singles.
Williams now has her eyes set on the Australian Open, where her record has been tarnished slightly due to injuries during her last two runs. She will surely be ready to prove that she can win there as well this season, especially since Azarenka will be there as the defending champion.
Serena and Venus Williams are widely credited as bringing a new level of athleticism to women’s tennis, and they have inspired legions of young players to strive for higher levels of performance. Her powerful serve and groundstrokes are considered among the best in the business, and her aggressive and consistent power plays have raised the bar for the sport. She can deliver a serve at a blistering 128 mph, second only to her sister Venus’ 129 mph record. She is also mentally tough, able to battle back from seemingly lost situations to achieve victory.
With her win at the Brisbane International, Serena Williams is set to continue her imperial reign over Women’s tennis. The season may be new, but unless her competition can come up with a way to upset the Empress, it may be the same old story at the finals.
By Mark Clarke