Serena Williams beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-1 in the final of the Brisbane International tennis tournament for her 47th career title.
Williams, ranked No. 3 by the Women’s Tennis Association Tour, needed just 51 minutes to complete the victory against the 21-year-old Russian in Australia. Since losing in the first round of the French Open in May, the American has won 35 of 36 matches and captured titles at Wimbledon, the Olympics, the U.S. Open and season-ending WTA championships.
“Today was really good,” Williams, 31, said on the WTA Tour website. “I kind of zoned, where I’m in a really calm place and not panicking, I’m not overthinking it and not just blasting every ball. I get really calm and kind of serene.”
Williams now sets her sights on the Australia Open, which begins Jan. 14 in Melbourne. She has won the first Grand Slam tournament of a season five times.
“I definitely worked hard for this week, and I’m going to do a little more work so I can be ready in eight days,” the 15- time Grand Slam champion said.
Defending champion Andy Murray of Britain advanced to the men’s final in Brisbane, where he’ll take on Grigor Dimitrov.
Murray was leading 6-4, 2-0 when Japan’s Kei Nishikori retired from their semifinal with a left knee injury. Dimitrov beat Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5) to send the 48th-ranked Bulgarian to his first ATP Tour final appearance.
“I have nothing to lose,” Dimitrov said of tomorrow’s matchup against the Olympic and U.S. Open champion on the ATP Tour website. “I just want to go out there and compose myself and say, ‘OK, it’s your first final. Don’t be nervous.’”
In other Australian Open warmups, Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland beat Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the ASB Classic in Auckland, while Li Na captured the Shenzhen Open title in her native China by beating Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 1-6, 7-5.
To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at email@example.com.