Serena wins to stay number one
Serena Williams crushed Maria Sharapova to win the Madrid Open and keep a grip on the world number one spot.
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Williams has had few problems with Sharapova over the course of their careers and a 6-1 6-4 victory in the Sunday's final in the Spanish capital made it 13 wins over the Russian in 15 meetings.
Sharapova knew victory would see her replace Williams at the top of the ranking list but that never seemed likely.
Williams raced into a 4-0 lead en route to the first set.
Sharapova made a fight of things in the second, gaining her one and only break of serve early on.
However, Williams broke back to 3-3 as Sharapova produced one of eight double faults at just the wrong time.
And another break when the Russian was serving to stay in the contest at 4-5 earned Williams her 50th WTA title.
Remarkably it was also her first title on red clay since the 2002 French Open. It is one which leaves her in a position of favouritism for this year's Roland Garros tournament, which gets under way on May 26.
Speaking about her triumph, Williams said: "It feels good. I don't know how many more I can win. Like I say every day, 'who knows if I'll ever win another title?' I just want to live in the moment and the dream every chance I get."
The American was defending the title but last year the event had been played on the faster, slippier blue clay.
"This court is definitely different from last year," she added. "It definitely plays more like Roland Garros, so I think that's a plus. It's a little slower than it was last year and plays more like a true claycourt. So I think it's great preparation. It's definitely a good start in the right direction. I feel good about it."
The vanquished Sharapova reflected: "Obviously it's tough losing in the final today, but I think my preparation so far has been decent, winning a title in Stuttgart and getting to the final in this tournament for the first time. One more tune up to go before Roland Garros, and everything seems to be going well."