KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — Serena Williams danced to the crowd’s roar, spinning and grinning, hopping and waving, then spinning some more.
If her victory celebration on the stadium court seemed well-rehearsed, it was. She earned a record sixth Key Biscayne women’s title by beating familiar foil Maria Sharapova 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 at the Sony Open on Saturday.
Sharapova set a new standard for futility in finals. She completed a career Grand Slam by winning the French Open last year, and won Indian Wells two weeks ago, but she’s winless in five Key Biscayne finals.
Sharapova playing nearly flawless tennis for an hour, before her serve and groundstrokes began to lose steam. Williams swept the last 10 games and faltered only during the trophy ceremony.
“I felt good today,” she told the crowd with a smile. “It’s so good to be No. 6 now — I mean, the six-time — oh, gosh. Thank you.”
“I’m happy to be holding the championship,” she said. “It’s definitely not my best tournament. But those are the moments that count — when you can still come out on top.”
She’ll remain No. 1 and Sharapova No. 2 next week. Williams is the first No. 1-seeded woman to win the title since she was champion in 2004.
Williams’ other titles at Key Biscayne came in 2002, ’03, ’07 and ’08. Sharapova was runner-up in 2005, ’06, ’11 and ’12.
Image and text credits : http://www.tsn.ca/tennis/story/?id=419470