Skip to main content

Serena off to a flyer in 2013 with Brisbane title: Murray into men's final

updated 1:26 PM EST, Sat January 5, 2013
Serena Williams clearly delighted to have started 2013 by winning the Brisbane International title.
Serena Williams clearly delighted to have started 2013 by winning the Brisbane International title.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Serena Williams claims Brisbane International title
  • Straight sets demolition of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2 6-1
  • Serena aiming for 16th grand slam title at Australian Open
  • Defending champion Andy Murray into men's final Sunday on Gold Coast

(CNN) -- Serena Williams posted an ominous message to her rivals after starting 2013 by taking the Brisbane International title Saturday with a straight sets demolition of Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Williams needed just 50 minutes on the Pat Rafter Arena for a 6-2 6-1 victory in just 50 minutes and will go into the Australian Open Monday week as firm favorite.

She has won a staggering 35 of 36 matches since last year's French Open and after her latest victory admitted she was in prime form.

"I was looking at a lot of old matches on YouTube and I feel like right now I'm playing some of my best tennis," she told the official tournament website.

Is Serena Williams the greatest ever?
How do you beat Serena Williams?
Serena Williams: 'I'm in awe' of Venus
Williams: 'Gold is my favorite color'

"I feel like I want to do better and play better still, and I've always felt like I could play better."

Her rivals for the opening grand slam of the season will be hoping that is not the case and certainly the overpowered Pavlyuchenkova was in awe of her opponent.

"When she's on fire there's not much I can do," Pavlyuchenkova said."You have to play your best tennis every point, which is quite tough."

Third seed Williams had a free run when World No.1 Victoria Azarenka pulled out of their semifinal rather than risk a toe injury ahead of Melbourne, while second-ranked Sharapova also withdrew before the start of the tournament with a collarbone injury.

Williams, who recently had minor foot surgery, took control of the title match from 2-2 in the opener, winning seven games in a row.

Pavlyuchenkova could offer little response to nine aces and 24 winners as Williams claimed her 47th career WTA title.

"That was really good -- I think I just kind of zoned and I felt like I really wanted to do well," Williams added.

Meanwhile, defending men's champion Andy Murray reached the final of the ATP event in Brisbane as semifinal opponent Kei Nishikori of Japan pulled out injured in the second set.

The fifth seed Nishikori had led 4-1 in the opener before being troubled by a left knee injury.

Murray was leading 6-4 2-0 in 45 minutes when he called it a day.

The World No.3 will play Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria who reached his first ATP final by edging out Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-3 5-7 7-6.

"I have to say I'm very, very happy. It's definitely it's a great feeling," the 21-year-old said.

In other ATP action Saturday, France's Richard Gasquet beat Nikolay Davydenko of Russia 3-6 7-6 6-3 to win the Qatar Open title.

It was Gasquet's eighth career ATP title.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:52 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
updated 7:02 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
updated 7:01 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
updated 9:14 PM EDT, Sun June 22, 2014
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
updated 7:59 PM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
British tennis player Elena Baltacha won 11 ITF Pro Circuit titles during her 16-year playing career.
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
updated 2:00 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
ADVERTISEMENT