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Serena demolishes Safina for 10th Slam

Serena Williams routed Dinara Safina 6-0,6-3 Saturday to win the Australian Open...

Written by Agencies | Melbourne | Published: February 1, 2009 2:56 pm

Serena Williams routed Dinara Safina 6-0,6-3 Saturday to win the Australian Open — her 10th Grand Slam title — and return to the No 1 ranking. It was total domination for second-seeded Williams,who looked at ease in winning back-to-back Grand Slam titles and was moving fluidly on the court. It was a sharp contrast to No 3 Safina,who was tight from the start. In the first game,Safina double-faulted thrice,including on break point. Williams ran off 18 of the last 20 points in the first set to finish it in 22 minutes.

Other than matches that ended early due to illness or injury,it was the most lopsided Australian Open women’s final since 1962,when Margaret Smith beat Jan Lehane 6-0,6-2.

It was Williams’s second overwhelming victory in a final at Melbourne Park,where she kept alive her record of winning in odd-numbered years since 2003. Coming into the 2007 tournament unseeded after being plagued by injuries the year before,she beat top-seeded Maria Sharapova 6-1,6-2. After Melbourne’s hottest three-day heat wave on record,conditions were nearly perfect for the tournament’s first women’s final at night,but Rod Laver Arena was less than capacity,with large patches of empty seats scattered around the upper deck of the 15,000-seat stadium.

Serena said it was “uber-cool” to join her idols in the elite group of women with 10 or more Grand Slams after reaching double figures with her fourth win at the Australian Open. Williams,who is also the reigning US Open champion,said she would now aim to repeat the “Serena Slam” of 2002-03,when she held all four majors at the same time. “I idolised Steffi Graf,” she said. “When I played her I was like ‘Oh My God,it’s Steffi Graf’ and Martina Navratilova was someone who was my role model,so when I think of these greats I don’t really think of my name,I think of them. I think people are starting to think of me (in those terms),which is uber-cool.”

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