Serena Williams seems to be too intimidating for Maria Sharapova, who despite her grandeur can’t seem to stand up against the American, not having beaten her since 2004, the period which now includes 13 losses after Serena’s today’s 6-1 6-4 straightforward victory in the final of the Mutua Madrid Open. It’s actually Sharapova’s first loss in eight claycourt finals, while Serena was, as strange as it may seem, playing her first final on red clay since the 2002 French Open.
The top-seeded Williams raced through the first four games, then Sharapova somehow managed to hold her serve in a game that lasted about as long as the sum of the first four, but her opponent quickly closed the deal, finishing the set in just 32 minutes. The seed No.2 Sharapova offered resistance in the second set, breaking Serena’s serve in the opening game and holding her own for a 2-0 lead, but she gave away that advantage by allowing her serve to be broken to love by double faulting on 0-40 in the sixth game of the set. In the tenth game Serena again broke Sharapova to love and won the match and 643,000 EUR in prize money.
Before the final, Serena beat Yulia Putintseva in the first round, Lourdes Dominguez Lino in the second, seed No.13 Maria Kirilenko in the third, against Anabel Medina Garrigues in the quarterfinals Serena was bageled in a set, which was only the second time in a decade that such a thing happened to her (although we have to point out that the world No.63 Medina Garrigues holds the largest number of claycourt titles of any active WTA player – 10), and in the semis Serena’s victim was seventh seed Sara Errani.
This Sunday’s win has ensured that Serena holds on to her No.1 ranking, which could’ve been taken by Sharapova had she won the title. Moreover, Serena defended her last year’s Madrid title, which was played on blue clay at the time, and lifted the 50th winner’s trophy in her career. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)