Serena coasts to Brisbane title

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iol spt jan5 Serena Getty Images Serena Williams demolished Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-1 in just 50 minutes to win the Brisbane International. Photo by Chris Hyde

Brisbane, Australia – American superstar Serena Williams demolished Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-1 in just 50 minutes to win the Brisbane International on Saturday.

Third-seeded Williams served notice that she will be the one to beat at this month's Australian Open with a ruthless display against Pavlyuchenkova, the world number 36.

She took control at 2-2 in the first set when she went on a run of seven straight games and never looked like losing against an increasingly demoralised opponent, who had no answer to Williams' power and aggression.

Williams sent down nine aces and won 91 percent of her first serves, blasting 24 winners past Pavlyuchenkova, who looked shell-shocked at times with the pace of the American's groundstrokes.

Williams, 31, has now won 47 titles on the WTA tour and lost only once since the French Open last year, winning 35 of her past 36 matches.

Although ranked third in the world, Williams is a firm favourite for the Australian Open on the strength of her efforts in the second half of 2012, when she won Wimbledon, the US Open, the WTA Championship and the Olympics. – Sapa-AFP


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