Serena wins first Cincinnati title for key US Open boost
Serena Williams won her first Cincinnati title at the sixth attempt ON Sunday with a convincing 6-4, 6-1 victory over Ana Ivanovic, just a week out from the defence of her US Open crown.
World number one Williams, 32, now has 62 career titles after claiming nine of the last ten games to earn victory in just over an hour against Ivanovic.
Williams has won both of her summer hardcourt events played in the United States, taking the Stanford title last month. She reached the semi-finals in Toronto, losing to her sister Venus.
The American finished with a love game against Ivanovic, who will now return to a top 10 ranking for the first time in five years.
Williams took advantage of her scheduling good luck after playing the afternoon semi-final on Saturday, while Ivanovic had to work for nearly three hours the night before to score a fighting victory over Maria Sharapova.
“It’s amazing to finally be able to win today,” said Williams, who won with a dozen aces and four breaks of her Serbian opponent who beat her last January in the Australian Open.
“I’m so excited, it’s been a great week. Ana was hitting really hard and getting a lot of winners.”
Williams was broken early to trail 3-1, her only real danger in the brief match. The top seed levelled with a love game for 3-3 and won the opening set from back-to-back Ivanovic double-faults.
The American found another gear in the second set, taking a 1-0 lead and breaking her tiring opponent twice more along the way to insure an easy victory.
Ivanovic and Williams were both playing their WTA-leading fifth finals of 2014. Williams now owns five titles while Ivanovic has three.
“Today I got a serving lesson from Serena,” Ivanovic said. “It was still a great match even if I lost.
“I’ve rejoined the top 10 but rankings don’t really matter. It’s all about competing on court and enjoying it.
“I’m looking forward to the US Open, it’s the last Grand Slam of the season and the most exciting one. I’m looking forward to trying to do well.”
Williams now stands 38-6 on the season and has not lost in any of her five finals.