Serena eases to Italian title
Serena Williams won the Internazionali BNL d'Italia after seeing off Sara Errani in a final ruined by injury to her opponent.
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Errani had recovered from a break down to bring the first set back on serve but required lengthy off-court treatment on her left hip and thigh.
Upon the resumption, Williams won seven straight games to comfortably seal the title 6-3 6-0 after 72 minutes of tennis.
Williams started as she meant to go on, with a thumping forehand winner on the opening point, but followed up with a double fault.
She held serve and broke her opponent at the first opportunity, opening up a 3-0 lead before Errani got on the board in the next game.
A deft net volley demonstrated Williams' abilities beyond mere power but she reverted to type to save a break point with her third ace as she held for a 4-1 lead.
Errani broke back in the seventh game to trail only 4-3 - but Williams immediately responded in kind and, after Errani's injury time-out, went on to serve out the set.
The Italian was clearly limited by the injury to her left thigh as Williams powered through the early games of the second set, breaking twice to lead 3-0.
That became four and though Errani was connecting with an occasional big shot, she was having to go for too much and was unable to chase down anything placed far away from her.
Williams ruthlessly did so at every opportunity, breaking to 15 to set up the chance to serve for the match and finishing the job with ease.
Williams was winning her third WTA Tour title of the season and the 60th of her career.
Rather than revel in the moment, though, she paid tribute to her stricken opponent.
Speaking mostly in Italian at the on-court presentation, she said: "I'm really sorry for Sara because she's played so well all week. I wish her good luck at Roland Garros (in the French Open).
"I'm really happy about today... I'd like to say this next bit in English... I would like to say thank you to my coach Patrick, and Sasha and Esther for keeping my body together and thanks to everybody for today."
Errani said: "I really want to compliment Serena on the way she's played during the week and she's certainly one of the best in the world, if not the best in the world.
"It's crazy for me that I got to the final this year. I never expected to manage to play such good tennis. Thanks to you all.
"I really want to thank my team who have always stood by me. I'm really sorry about today but hopefully next year I'll do better."