Monday, August 15, 2011
American Serena Williams celebrates immediately after winning point that earned her the 2011 Rogers Cup title.
A lot has changed for the 13-time Grand Slam champion in the decade gone by, but one thing is still for certain - she sure is one impressive tennis player.
Williams won the title on Sunday in emphatic fashion, nailing an ace at match point to defeat Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-2.
Though the contest was evenly matched through the first eight games, the American turned it up a notch to break at 4-4 and never looked back. She was dominant in the second set, ripping seven aces while losing just one first service point.
It was clear the championship meant a lot to her, as upon clinching victory she immediately jumped and spun around in elation. In her post-match press conference she talked about how Toronto was definitely a tournament she had targeted as an event she really wanted to win this year.
With her mission now accomplished and her 39th career title in her pocket, the 29-year-old should move up nearly 50 spots in the rankings to around the No. 35 spot.
Though Stosur's tournament ended with a loss, her successful week should help her gain confidence heading into the final Slam of the season. Prior to coming to Toronto, the Australian had lost in her opening round twice in a row, but she turned it around here and improved her play with each match up to the final.
Her performance means she'll move back into the Top 10 after spending just one week outside of the upper echelon of the sport. If she keeps it up, she'll definitely be in the conversation at the final Slam of the season.
With the entertaining final between Williams and Stosur now over, Rogers Cup wraps up a successful week of tennis. Though the back-end of the tournament was lacking in the star power provided by such players like Kim Clijsters, who retired in the second round, Maria Sharapova, who was a third-round dropout, and world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki who fell in her opening match, Williams shines brighter than almost anyone on the tour.
She now has two titles in just four tournaments played since her return to tennis following a year-long absence due to serious health issues, and both of those triumphs occurred on hard courts. She will no doubt be a huge threat at the US Open in two weeks times.
For now, the pair will head to the next tournament in Cincinnati, where a Rogers Cup re-match could occur in the second round as Stosur and Williams were drawn in the same quarter.
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