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Dominant Serena wins eighth Miami Open crown

April 5, 2015 4:41 PM
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World number one routs Navarr­o in an easy 6-2, 6-0 victor­y

MIAMI: World number one Serena Williams joined an elite club on Saturday, winning her eighth Miami WTA title with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-0 win over Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro.

The 33-year-old US superstar, who won her 19th Grand Slam title in Australia this year, lifted the trophy in the elite premier level tournament for the third straight year.

She also won three straight Miami titles from 2002-04 and back-to-back titles in 2007-08.

Serena had already surpassed Steffi Graf for most Miami triumphs with her win last year.

On Saturday she joined Graf, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert as the only Open Era players to win the same event at least eight times.

Graf won nine titles in Berlin, Evert won eight in Hilton Head, and Navratilova achieved the feat in seven tournaments — including her nine Wimbledon titles.

“It feels really good to have eight under my belt,” said Serena. “Can’t say I thought I would win eight, especially in the beginning of the week,” added the champion, who had struggled with her serve and unforced errors in previous matches.

“I had a couple matches where I had nearly 60 unforced errors in both, so I just needed to kind of get my mind back there and say, ‘Serena, you normally don’t play like this, so just go to how you normally play,” she said of how she tried to regroup after clawing past world number three Simona Halep in the semi-finals.

In Navarro, Serena faced an opponent she had beaten in four prior encounters without dropping a set.

World number 12 Navarro, playing in the biggest final of her career, was not surprised to find the winners zinging past her from every part of the court.

“When I play with Serena I know that she’s the best,” said Navarro. “She has the game to make me play bad. But this time I believed in me, in how I’m playing the other matches. I tried. I tried until the last point, but it was tough and difficult for me.”

But Serena converted her third break chance of the sixth game to grab a 4-2 lead in the opening set, consolidating the break with an easy hold.

Navarro saved two set points against her serve in the next game, but Serena gave herself another chance with a forehand winner and Navarro handed her the set with an error.

Navarro had a chance to break in the first game of the second set, but Serena held on, before breaking at love in the next game.

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