TORONTO Aug 14 Serena Williams won her second
straight tournament and proved her mettle ahead of the U.S. Open
with a convincing 6-4 6-2 win over Australia's Samantha Stosur
in the Toronto Cup final on Sunday.
The former world number one, playing in just her fourth
tournament since returning from an 11-month layoff in June,
capped the victory in style with an ace and then raised her arms
in the air before jumping up and down repeatedly.
Williams, who won the Stanford Classic last month, held her
serve throughout the 77-minute match and called her game solid
despite acknowledging there is room for improvement for the U.S.
Open, which begins on Aug. 29.
"My game is here and I feel like there are a lot of
improvements I want to make -- being able to close out big
points and winning on big points and capitalising on that and
still returning a little bit better," Williams told reporters.
"But overall it's solid, I want to definitely keep it up and
not go down."
Stosur went toe-to-toe with Williams in a first set that
went with serve until the 13-times grand slam champion broke in
the ninth game with a forehand volley to the empty side of the
court. She served out in the next game.
Williams had sent a screaming backhand winner down the line
one point previously, which she said was when the match turned
in her favour.
"I definitely think that's when the match started changing,
but for the most part I was really fighting until that point,"
Williams broke Stosur in the opening game of the second set
with a cross-court winner.
And after dropping a 12-point game to Stosur, Williams
captured 12 of 14 points during a three-game stretch to go ahead
The 10th-seeded Stosur held serve in the next game but
tournament organisers, perhaps unknowingly, showed little faith
in her ability to mount a comeback.
During a change of sides before Williams had her first
chance to serve for the match, they squeezed in a short clip on
the main scoreboard thanking fans for attending the tournament
and asking them to buy tickets for next year.
Williams followed that with a solid final game, firing four
of her nine aces past a helpless Stosur, who saw only one break
point during the match.
"For me to be able to win I had to play close to my best
tennis, and I wasn't quite at that that mark," Stosur told
reporters. "She makes it look very easy and it's not that easy
just to come back on tour and win two events in your first four
Williams, who next plays the Cincinnati Open, improved to
11-0 in hard court matches this year and is looking like the
dominant player who captured the Wimbledon title last year
before her layoff.
She entered the tournament as the world number 80 but is
projected to go as high as 31 when the rankings are released on
Despite that, Williams considers herself an underdog for the
year's final grand slam. "I never go in as a favourite, I feel
like I'm still the underdog," she said.
"I went through a lot of things physically, mentally and
emotionally, and going through so much so I am just taking it
one day at a time and kind of like one match at a time."
Victoria Azarenka withdrew from the doubles final
with an injured right hand, clouding the world number four's
participation in the U.S. Open.
Azarenka, who lost in straight sets to Williams in
Saturday's semi-final, withdrew from the doubles match along
with playing partner Maria Kirilenko before taking the court.
(Editing by Stephen Wood; To query or comment on this story
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