Lawn Tennis, Australian Open, Lawn Tennis Magazine
Serena Williams Beats Dinara Safina For 10th Grand Slam Win
By Ken Miller, Lawn Tennis Correspondent, Posted: Saturday, January 31, 2009 8:22am PST USA
, MELBOURNE--( In the Australian Open women's final Saturday, world number two Serena Williams of the USA defeated world number three Dinara Safina of Russia 6-0, 6-3 to win her 10th career singles grand slam.

Williams, aged 27 and an Australian Open singles champion also in 2003, 2005 and 2007 yesterday won the doubles championship with her sister and Wimbledon champion Venus Williams. And with her singles win today, Williams returns Monday to the WTA Tour's world number one ranking.

Serena Williams of the USA
Australian Open, Melbourne, Australia, Lawn Tennis Magazine
Williams in set one won 100% of her first serves while Safina managed to win only eight total points in the set.

Williams, who lacks any major weakness in her game, began the match playing aggressively from the baseline to take control of the majority of points. Safina soon was forced into either a defensive role while running to cover the baseline or was forced to overhit to try to stay even with Williams' level of play.

After hitting an overhead winner crosscourt, Williams scored her second break of serve to quickly go ahead 4-0 in set one. Williams held serve at love then broke Safina's serve once again after the Russian netted a forehand down the line on setpoint.

In a sterling display of tennis, Williams in set one won 100% of her first serves and took the set in only 22 minutes against Safina, who prior to the match herself was only one win away from the number one ranking. Safina managed to win only eight points in the set.

Going into today's final, Williams had been 34-0 in Melbourne after winning the first set. And Safina for her part wasted little time to make her move in set two. After taking advantage of several Williams' errors, Safina struck a backhand crosscourt return winner to break serve to go ahead 1-0.

Williams however would cut her errors to win the next four games after holding serve at love to lead 4-1. Set two remained on serve as Safina served to stay in the match at 2-5.

A Safina backhand error and a forehand winner leveled the game's score at 15 all, before Williams scored a forehand winner on a possibly bad bounce for 15-30. Down and almost out, Safina scored two additional baseline winners before holding serve to reach 3-5.

Serving for the match Williams, as was her pattern for much of the day, held at love once more after a Safina dropshot sailed wide on matchpoint. Safina failed to find any answers for the power and placement from Williams as the American sealed her championship victory in only 59 minutes.

Williams, who also win the US Open in September, becomes the first female to win consecutive grand slams since Justine Henin of Belgium in 2004.

“The 2009 Australian Open will definitely be one of the most memorable tournaments in my career. I am thrilled with winning this title and the news of becoming the world number one is an added bonus,” Williams said.

“I don’t have much to say. I didn’t even spend one hour on the court,” said Safina. “I want to congratulate Serena, she was too good today.”

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