Serena Williams of the United States poses with the trophy after her victory over Dinara Safina of Russia in the women's singles final at Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Jan. 31, 2009. Williams won 2-0. (Xinhua/Zhou Lei)
American second seed Serena Williams claimed her fourth Australian Open crown after needing only 59 minutes to ease past third seed Dinara Safina 6-0, 6-3 in the women's singles final on Saturday.
The 27-year-old Williams, now a ten-times Grand Slam winner, will begin a third stint as the world number one next week after the current number one Jelena Jankovic suffered shock early exit from the season's first Grand Slam.
"I wanted to get to 10 Grand Slams. You never know what happens in life. I feel like opportunities sometimes don't present themselves twice. I think obviously I'll have that opportunity again, but today was my chance to take it and run with it," said the American, who also won the women's doubles title with her elder sister Venus one day earlier.
"I'm so excited about this victory. I just want to stay consistent and fit and keep going like this. I've always said, when I'm at my best I'm really tough to beat."
Williams, who has won here in 2003, 2005 and 2007, completely dominated the Russian from the start, allowing Safina only eight points in the first set.
Safina, looking to win her first career major at the Melbourne Park, seemed totally out-of-sorts in the set, losing at 6-0 in just 22 minutes.
She even made a nervy opening to the match throwing three double faults in her opening service game.
"It was first time for me to play not only for the Grand Slam, but it's also for No.1 spot. And I have never been through this situation, but she has already done that," said Safina, who was playing in just her second Grand Slam final after finishing runner- up at Roland Garros last year.
The 22-year-old Russian looked rejuvenated at the start of the second set, breaking Williams' first serve to build up a 2-0 lead, only for the American to break back twice to sail through at 6-3.
Williams looked in complete control, hitting only seven unforced errors to 21 from the Russian.
"I thought Dinara was really doing pretty good, hanging in there. She never gives up. She's always fighting till the last point," Williams said.
"I definitely think it was definitely one of my most dominant performances, especially considering it was a final. I was able to just lift the level of my game in the final," she added.
(Xinhua News Agency Feburary 1, 2009)