Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 08/12/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
TORONTO -- Serena Williams insists it's not as easy as it looks.
The top-seeded American breezed to her third Rogers Cup title with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over unseeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea in Sunday's final, giving Williams her eighth WTA title of the year and 54th of her career.
She didn't drop a set all week at the $2.369-million tournament and lost only 22 games, almost half of which came against third-seed Agnieszka Radwanska in a semifinal match which proved to be the only real test for the world No. 1 in Toronto.
With the absence of top-five players Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka, and the early exit of Wimbledon champ Marion Bartoli, all due to injury, Williams's path to the title was made considerably less obstructed.
But with expectation comes pressure, and Williams proved more than up to the task.
"No tournament is ever easy, especially being in the position I am in," said Williams. "The tournament starts and they expect you to win. And the tournament is like, 'you're going to be in the final and after your semifinal I want you to do this, and you have to do this and this press.' Who knows if I'll even make it to the semifinals?
"It's a lot of pressure. It's not easy."
Williams says she likes where her game it as heading towards the U.S Open, where she is the defending champion, and she'll look to use this victory as momentum this week in Cincinnati. Despite only having lost one match since March, a stunning early exit at Wimbledon, Williams says there's still room for improvement.
"For me it's always about constantly improving and never saying 'I did great and I can be satisfied,"' she said. "I did great (today), but what can I do better? What can I improve on? That's what I always strive for.
"When I get satisfied, and for a lot of players, the (playing) level goes down."
Cirstea, meanwhile, had a breakthrough tournament, having ousted two former world No. 1s in Jelena Jankovic and Caroline Wozniacki before dethroning defending champion Petra Kvitova in the quarters, then fourth-seed Li Na of China in the semifinals.
She was appearing in only her third WTA final and looking to build on her only title, won way back in 2008 at Tashkent.
"For me it's been a really positive week and I'm going to take everything that well to the next tournament," said Cirstea.
Cirstea showed her nerves from the opening game, double faulting the first point and again at 30-40 to give Williams an early break.
Williams broke again for 3-0 after Cirstea sent a backhand wide. That prompted a visit from her Australian coach Darren Cahill, who gave the 23-year-old a pep talk.
-- The Canadian Press
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 12, 2013 C2
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Raonic and Karlovic advance at Swiss Indoors
Wozniacki beats Sharapova at WTA Finals
Robredo beats Isner in straight sets at Valencia
Taiwan's Lu beats Garcia 6-2, 6-3 in Valencia Open
Nadal beats Bolelli 6-2, 6-2 at Swiss Indoors
Serena beats Ivanovic in WTA Finals opener
Halep breezes past Bouchard at WTA Finals
Berdych beats Dimitrov to win Stockholm Open title
Murray beats Ferrer in Vienna to win 30th title
US Open champ Cilic wins Kremlin Cup
Serena Williams hits back at Russian official
Archaeologists seek movie set in California sands
Stockholm Open: Berdych meets Dimitrov in final
Beck tops Zahlavova Strycova to win at Luxembourg
Murray defeats Troicki to reach final in Vienna
Cilic to face Agut in Moscow final
Williams up against youth in WTA finals
Tarpischev: Williams comments meant as jokes
Tarpischev sanctioned for Williams comments
Berdych, Dimitrov reach Stockholm Open semis
Cilic downs Robredo to reach Moscow semi
Zahlavova Strycova faces Beck in Luxembourg final
Ferrer, Murray advance to semifinals in Vienna
Berdych into quarters of Stockholm Open
Lendl not returning to coaching anytime soon
Canada's Pospisil falls to Murray in Vienna
Top seeds Raonic, Cibulkova lose at Kremlin Cup
Zahlavova Strycova advances at Luxembourg Open
Davydenko confirms retirement from tennis
Dimitrov reaches Stockholm Open quarterfinals
Cilic overcomes Donskoy in Moscow
Kohlschreiber, Karlovic reach quarters in Vienna
No. 2 Cornet & No. 3 Lisicki lose at Luxembourg
Italian tennis players face corruption accusations
Verdasco, Mayer advance at Stockholm Open
Petkovic loses in first round in Luxembourg
Haase defeats 8th-seeded Thiem in 3 sets in Vienna
Pavlyuchenkova opens with a win at Kremlin Cup