Source: Agencies | 2013-1-6 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
Andy Murray of Britain reacts after winning the first set in his semifinal match against Kei Nishikori of Japan during the Brisbane International tennis tournament yesterday in Australia. Nishikori retired in the second set with a knee injury.
Photo by AP
SERENA Williams proved the break between seasons hasn't hurt her momentum in any way, capturing her 47th career title with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-1 victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to win the Brisbane International yesterday in Australia.
Williams has won 35 of her past 36 matches, including titles at Wimbledon, the London Olympics, the US Open, the season-ending championship and now the first tournament of 2013.
The 15-time Grand Slam champion already has won the Australian Open five times, and with the season's first Grand Slam title a little more than a week from now, she's in good shape to add another one.
Williams conceded only three points in the last three games of the first set during a seven-game run until Pavlyuchenkova finally held serve in the fourth game of the second set.
The match was all over in 50 minutes, with Williams firing nine aces and hitting 24 winners compared with only one ace and nine winners for her rival.
"I always feel like I don't know how to play tennis when I play against you," Pavlyuchenkova told Williams during the on-court trophy presentation.
On the men's side, defending champion Andy Murray advanced to the final when fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori retired with an injured left knee while trailing 6-4, 2-0 in their semifinal.
"I'm playing ok. A bit up and down," Murray said. "I've moved better every single match. Returning could have been better, and my groundstrokes, with more matches I'll start to hit them cleaner."
Murray will meet 21-year-old Grigor Dimitrov, who is starting to live up to his billing as a star-in-the-making by reaching his first ATP Tour final. Dimitrov held his nerve is 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (5) victory over Marcos Baghdatis to set up the clash with Murray.