Aug 17 Serena Williams finished her last U.S. Open tune-up in style by blowing away Serbian Ana Ivanovic 6-4 6-1 to win her first title at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati on Sunday.
For the top-seeded American, the win marked her first in six visits to Cincinnati and sent a message that she is in top form heading into the year's final grand slam, where she is the two-time defending champion.
After falling behind early, Williams broke her ninth seeded opponent's serve in the sixth game of the first set to pull even and then broke again four games later to wrap up the opener in 38 minutes.
A year removed from losing the Cincinnati final in a third set tiebreak to Victoria Azarenka, the world number one left nothing to chance in a dominant second set.
Williams broke Ivanovic to open a 3-1 lead in the second set and then relied on her powerful serve to carry her the rest of the way, finishing the 62-minute match with 12 aces.
It marked the fifth title of the year for the 32-year-old American following wins in Stanford, Rome, Miami and Brisbane.
The Cincinnati tournament is the last of the key tune-ups ahead of the Aug. 25-Sept. 8 U.S. Open in New York. (Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Mark Meadows)