November 29, 2009

Serena will be fined (NOT suspended) for outburst

TIMESONLINE is reporting that Serena will pay (cash) for her outburst at the US Open rather than face suspension from future grand-slam tournaments. I am so happy that a decision has been reached and that she is not being suspended / banned from a Grand Slam event. The grand-slam committee met in London this weekend to discuss the world No 1’s comments to a lineswoman who foot-faulted her at a critical juncture of the semi-final in New York against Kim Clijsters.

Williams was trailing 5-6, 30-15 in the third set to the Belgian when she was called for stepping on the line. Her incendiary reaction — including prodigious use of the f-word — was such that the American received a point penalty, which handed her opponent the match and a place in the final. There has been much speculation in the intervening weeks that the chairmen of the grand-slams might decide to suspend the Australian Open and Wimbledon champion from one of the tournaments that they oversee. Instead, it is believed they have come down on the side of a financial penalty, somewhere in the region of $150,000 which would amount to less than half the prize money she received as a semifinalist at the US Open.

It required two apologies from Williams for the furore to die down after the first was considered not remorseful enough. At the second time of asking, she said: “I want to sincerely apologise first to the lineswoman, the USTA, and mostly tennis fans everywhere for my inappropriate outburst. “I’m a woman of great pride, faith and integrity, and I admit when I’m wrong. “I need to make it clear to all young people that I handled myself inappropriately and it’s not the way to act — win or lose, good call or bad call in any sport, in any manner. “I like to lead by example. We all learn from experiences both good and bad, I will learn and grow from this, and be a better person as a result.”

Barbados has tennis talent to go to the next level

That was the opinion of both the world ranked No. 1 and No. 4 tennis stars Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki, respectively. Both were speaking to the Press yesterday at the Tennis Fantasy Camp, which was part of the Tennis Pon De Rock event at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium yesterday - a day that none of the selected 40 young local tennis players would ever forget.

Wozniacki said: "The kids are playing good I think there is a lot of talent here and hopefully they can keep going. I love to work with the children. "I also want to talk a little bit with them and get to know them because there is a lot of talent." "I like playing with the kids because I have been on the other side of the club as someone who has looked up to the pro players. So I am happy to get the chance to play with them," she added. Meanwhile, Williams said she was continuing to battle the flu, but noted that she was still able to knock around a few balls with the young rising stars. "I will be able to survive out there . . . . I think we are still going to have a lot of fun," she said before heading onto the courts.

Article by Tracy Moore / Nation News

BBC Interview w/ Owen Bennett-Jones

Serena was recently interviewed by Owen Bennett-Jones for BBC Radio. He asked her how she feels about her family and her sport. Listen to the interview here.

November 28, 2009

Serena defeats Caroline in Barbados Exhibition

Serena and Caroline thrill thousands
By Alan Harris / The Barbados Advocate

Serena Williams is still the undisputed Queen of women’s tennis; well at least in the hearts of Barbadians. The 28-year-old world No. 1 appeared in vintage form at last night’s LIME ‘Tennis pon De Rock’ exhibition at the Wildey Gymnasium, where she opposed world No. 4, 19-year-old Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark. Both players were well received by the large crowd and throughout the match, screams of ‘Let’s go Serena’ and ‘Let’s go Caroline’ could be heard echoing throughout the Gym. Serena, easily the more physically dominant of the two players, took full control from the opening game and never looked back. Though fighting off a slight cold, she was her usual self, serving with a vengeance while punishing anything short from her younger opponent.

Wozniacki, who is no slouch either, desperately scampered for her returns and tried to use her pin-point placement to her advantage. Still she had no reply for Williams. Both players held their first service games at love, but when Serena got going, Wozniacki didn’t have much answer for her power. Breaking her opponent at 3-2, and then again at 5-4, Serena comfortably put away Wozniacki 6-4 in the only set that was played on the night. “They were such a good crowd,” a beaming Serena told the Barbados Advocate after the match. “There was a lot of support for Caroline, and there as a lot of support for me, so it was a good night. This island has been 100 times better than any of my expectations and I really think I have found my second home.”

Serena has arrived in Barbados

Serena Williams is here
By Alan Harris / The Barbados Advocate

International tennis superstar, Serena Williams, has landed! And just in time for our 43rd Independence celebrations! With all the pomp and splendour, the world No. 1 women’s tennis player touched down at the Grantley Adams International Airport yesterday afternoon aboard American Airlines flight AA 1417. Serena was all smiles as she descended the stairs of the aircraft where scores of curious onlookers, travellers and airport staff gathered to get a glimpse of her. She was met on the tarmac by Minister of Sport, Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo, Sports-Tourism Manager of the Barbados Tourism Authority, Gregory Armstrong, and Tournament Director Kodi Lewis. Here in Barbados to oppose world No. 4 Caroline Wozniacki at today’s LIME ‘Tennis Pon de Rock’ Exhibition, Williams was hurriedly whisked away from the public’s eye to the comfort and seclusion of the Grace Adams Hospitality Suite. There, she then mingled with Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy and chatted with members of her large entourage, including that of sister Lyndrea Price, manager Jill Smoller and friend Kevin Davis.

Though visibly tired from her long jaunt, Serena was still in high spirits and politely told the press, “I’m excited to be here. It’s been a long time since I have been able to come to such a beautiful place and I’m looking forward to seeing it”. Quick to seize the opportunity and offer their words of welcome to the 23-time Grand Slam Champion, was Ministers Sealy and Suckoo. “ I want to say welcome to Ms. Williams and her entire entourage, it is a pleasure to have them here” a beaming Sealy said. “This of course is a significant weekend as its our independence celebrations and we are glad that you could come and be part of it. We are looking forward to the exhibition and all that is planned”. Using the occasion to highlight Barbados’ thriving sports-tourism product, Sealy added, “We are also looking forward to some of the other activities we have planned within the context of sports-tourism for this weekend. This has been a long time in coming and I think it signals just how serious this Government is about the sports-tourism fusion and how determined we are to take it to another level”.

Adding to Sealy’s sentiments, was an excited Byer-Suckoo. “ On behalf of the Ministry of Sport and the people of Barbados, we are very excited to have you here with us”, she warmly told Serena. “Everybody is excited and you have added an extra-special dimension to our weekend of celebrations. I hope that your visit to Barbados is just as memorable for you as we know it will be for all of Barbados”. Williams, probably the most dominant female tennis player of the decade, has won an incredible 23 Grand slam titles; 11 in singles, ten in women's doubles and two in mixed doubles. Along with her two Olympic gold medals, she also has won more Grand Slam titles than any other active female player and has won more career prize money than any other female athlete in history. Just earlier this month, on the 2nd of November, she regained her #1 ranking in the world for an unprecedented fifth time in her career. She is currently the reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon singles champion, and the reigning Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open Doubles Champion.

Serena will do battle with 19 year-old Wozniacki of Denmark today at the Wildey Gymnasium starting at 5 p.m., and then again tomorrow, at the exclusive Sugar Hill development. Also in action on both nights will be Barbados’ highest ranked senior in Haydn Lewis, along with former US Top 40 player Jeff Tarango. Though all the $200 court-side seats have been sold out, tickets for this historic event can still be purchased at all SuperCentre locations, Cave Shepherd, Lewis Drug Mart, the Barbados Olympic Association and FACETS jewellers.

November 27, 2009

Serena at Barbados Exhibition 11/28 - 11/29

“Tennis pon de rock” will be hosted over a two day period, with the intention that the spectators are offered a chance to see live, some of the best tennis players performing at the highest levels, in a more relaxed atmosphere and to have the opportunity to interact with the players directly. “Tennis pon de rock” highlights will include:

• Featured players: Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki

• A dedicated VIP/Corporate Hospitality venue, set amongst the beautiful Sugar Hill development, providing an all-inclusive relaxed atmosphere where spectators are never more than a few feet from the action and player/spectator interaction is encouraged.

• Serena and Caroline will participate in a variety of on-court activities such as; a doubles match with local players, fun points with selected persons in attendance and the featured highlight, Caroline vs Serena.

• Serena and Caroline will participate in a fantasy camp for children, hosted by the Barbados Tennis Association on Saturday November 28th.

• Serena and Caroline will also attend a meet & greet cocktail function on the final day at Sugar Hill, where they will mingle with guests to officially close this B.I.T.E two day event.

Ticket Contact / Information

Ms Linda Austin (Sugar Hill) at 246-419-9100 (

Ms Diana Lewis at 246-238-7708 or you can email her, (

Could Serena be fined $1 Million for outburst?

Reuters - Serena Williams may cop the largest fine in tennis history when the world champion is penalised for her US Open meltdown. Industry sources last night indicated the International Tennis Federation's grand slam committee was close to consensus on the Williams case, almost 12 weeks after the US Open incident.

Williams was cited for committing a major offence, an infraction which carries possible suspension from January's Australian Open. Williams allegedly threatened to kill a lineswoman in New York, saying: "If I could, I would take this f ... ing ball and shove it down your f ... ing throat". The winner of 11 majors, Williams almost certainly will contest the 2010 Australian Open, where she is the defending champion.

But she is likely to receive a fine which far outstrips the $US100,000 Lleyton Hewitt was docked in 2002 for missing a Cincinnati interview. ITF grand slam administrator Bill Babcock has finished his inquiries, taking evidence and submissions from Williams and the officials involved on the day. His findings will be discussed at the ATP World Tour finals at O2 Arena tomorrow by the four members of the grand slam committee. Geoff Pollard (Australian Open), Jean Gachassin (French), Tim Phillips (Wimbledon) and Lucy Garvin (US), who will consider Babcock's recommendations, can overturn, or vary, his verdict.

One option for officials in the Williams case is to ban her from next season's US Open or strip her of the $US342,825 prizemoney and the 900 rankings points. There is talk of a $1 million fine, and a good behaviour bond. Williams was fined the maximum on-site penalty of $US10,000 in New York for unsportsmanlike behaviour. Her outburst was triggered by a suspect foot fault call in a tense semi-final against Belgian Kim Clijsters. Williams has apologised several times for the incident.

November 22, 2009

Interesting Grand Slam Singles Fact

Venus and Serena Williams are the only women (during the Open Era) to have played each other in four consecutive Grand Slam singles finals.

Serena: Player of the Decade

Check out Dennis Fitzgerald's article,

November 20, 2009

Serena: 2010 BNP Paribas Showdown for BJK Cup

Serena Williams and Venus Williams will be joined by 2009 US Open Champion Kim Clijsters and 2009 French Open Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova at the 2010 BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup. The event takes place Monday night, March 1, 2010 at Madison Square Garden in New York City and will feature two, one-set semifinals followed by a best-of-three-set final for $1.2 million in prize money. Serena won the event in 2009. Tickets go on sale Dec. 2, 2009 at 10:00am. Tickets range from $25 to $1000. To purchase tickets call 866-858-0008 or visit TICKETMASTER or

November 14, 2009

Serena's serving ACES

Serena has the best first and second serve in the history of women's tennis. She served the most aces during the 2009 tennis season (381). She has great disguise on that lethal serve of her's. A thing of beauty actually. She has a smooth service motion and always tosses the ball in the same spot. While others are serving double faults in double digits, Serena's serving aces.

Patrick McEnroe: "Too late to suspend Serena"

(Bloomberg) - U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe says tennis officials have waited too long to suspend 11-time Grand Slam Champion Serena Williams for her outburst at the U.S. Open in September. "The opportunity for a suspension of any sort has passed" said McEnroe. "If it had happened, it should have happened right at the U.S. Open. To suspend her now, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense." Suspending Williams from the Jan. 18th - 31st Australian Open, the first Grand Slam event of the 2010 season, wouldn't be fair to the tournament said McEnroe.

"For a first offense, to suspend her at the Australian Open, you're penalizing them for something they really had nothing to do with. It was obviously outrageous what she did but it was really the first time anything like that has happened. If you look at the history of suspensions in tennis, they are generally from a second, third or fourth offense. If another player did something like what she did, they may have been defaulted right out of the tournament, right on the spot, for singles and doubles. Did Serena get treated differently? Maybe. That's not to say it's right or wrong, it just is what it is."

-- by Michael Buteau

November 13, 2009

Serena on Andre Agassi's drug use admission

"It's weird, I don't understand it, when I heard I, didn't know what to think and I still don't. But I don't believe it should define his career. A career is a whole timepiece, a whole period. That whole drugs thing freaks me out, I don't even know what crystal meth is. I've never seen it on the L.A. scene. Tennis is, for me, a pure sport. I get tested randomly all the time. I didn't do that drugs and wild life thing because of Venus. When I was younger, she was my protector, my bodyguard, my everything. She always looks out for me. She is such a good person. I couldn't have asked for a better older sister."

(Andre Agassi admitted to taking crystal meth in 1997 and failing a drug test).

November 11, 2009

US Open Fact featuring Martina, Arantxa & Serena

Since 1980, only three players have won the US Open singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles - MARTINA NAVRATILOVA (who won all three in 1987), ARANTXA SANCHEZ-VICARIO (1994 singles, 1993-1994 doubles, 2000 mixed doubles) and SERENA WILLIAMS (1999, 2002, 2008 singles, 1999 and 2009 doubles, 1998 mixed doubles).

Serena @ Louis Vuitton 2010 Collection Launch

President & CEO of Louis Vuitton North America Daniel Lalonde and tennis star Serena Williams attend the Louis Vuitton 2010 Cruise Collection launch at Louis Vuitton Saks Lifestyle on November 10, 2009 in New York City.

Tune In: Serena's on The Joy Behar Show tonight

I find Joy Behar to be a particularly funny and well-versed lady. She's co-host of ABC's daily chat fest, "The View," and now she has her own show aptly titled, "The Joy Behar Show." Tune in tonight as she will have Serena Williams as one of her guests. The show airs on HLN at 9pm EST. This should be fun.

Serena / Mission Skincare team with CVS

Mission Skincare, co-founded by tennis star Serena Williams and a few other athletes such as soccer professional Mia Hamm, will launch "Active Lifestyle Skincare Destinations" in the beauty aisle of all CVS/Long's pharmacy locations nationwide beginning this week. The Active Lifestyle Skincare Destinations will be stocked with lip, face, body and sun care products for those consumers who live active and healthy lifestyles.

“Our customers are smart, savvy and constantly on the go. Whether they’re out for a run, chasing their kids around the house or cheering from the sidelines, they’re in motion,” stated Mike Bloom, SVP merchandising for CVS/pharmacy. “And with healthy living comes the need for skin care that meets your active needs. That’s where Mission Skincare steps in with products developed and tested by the world’s greatest athletes for use by everyday people on the go.”

To celebrate the partnership, Mission is launching six new products: revitalizing lip therapy gel in peppermint, mega balm antioxidant lip refreshers in blueberry-pomegranate and acai-lemonade, replenishing hand and body moisturizer, and rejuvenating face moisturizer. The skin care and lip care products will be available exclusively in the Active Lifestyle Skincare Destinations at CVS/pharmacy in November.

Serena @ Glamour Women of the Year Awards

Professional Tennis player and honoree Serena Williams attends the Glamour Magazine 2009 Women of the Year Awards at Carnegie Hall, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)

November 8, 2009

Tune in: Serena on The Daily Show (11/10/09)

Serena will appear on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Tuesday at 11:oopm EST. The show airs on Comedy Central.

November 7, 2009

ITF chief says ban unlikely for Serena Williams

By ANDREW DAMPF (AP) - Top-ranked Serena Williams will most likely receive a "significant" fine but no suspension for her U.S. Open tirade, the president of the International Tennis Federation said. Grand Slam administrator Bill Babcock is expected to give his recommendation to the Grand Slam committee, which probably will announce the sanction Monday or Tuesday. "I don't think (an Australian Open ban) would make much sense, because it would penalize the people handing out the punishment," Francesco Ricci Bitti told The Associated Press on Saturday. "For the Grand Slam committee to exclude her from a Grand Slam doesn't seem likely."

The Grand Slam committee is composed of Ricci Bitti and the four Grand Slam presidents. Williams was fined $10,000 after her profanity-laced outburst at a lineswoman during her semifinal loss to Kim Clijsters in September. A fine from the ITF could be much greater. "A significant financial penalty makes much more sense. But it has to be significant enough for the fans (to appreciate) it," Ricci Bitti said. "Of course it may not be significant for Serena Williams, who earns tens of millions." By winning the season-ending tour championship last weekend, Williams set the record for single-season prize money in women's tennis by topping $6.5 million in 2009. Her career prize money is a record $28.5 million.

Abigail Lorge ( on Serena's year

Triumphs to tears: Assessing the 2009 WTA stars

The defining moment of Serena's 2009 season came not in Melbourne, where she dominated Dinara Safina for her 10th career Grand Slam singles title, nor at Wimbledon, where she soundly defeated her sister, Venus, for No. 11. Those victories were overshadowed by her notorious tirade against the lineswoman who called her for a foot fault in the U.S. Open semifinals. But regardless of whether you were perturbed by the vitriolic nature of Serena's outburst (I was) or thought she should have been allowed to play the women's doubles final 36 hours later (I didn't), one has to acknowledge that from a competitive standpoint, Serena's season was an unqualified success. She may have bungled her apologies for foot-fault-gate (for which further punishment may yet be assessed), but in going 5-0 to win the year-end championships in Doha last weekend, Williams reminded us how dominating her top tennis is.

As my colleague Steve Tignor wrote earlier this week, her status as the world's greatest player derives not just from her serve -- the best in the women's game -- or her quickness, but also from her court coverage, her competitive mettle, and most of all her ability to hit winners from any position. Ten years after she became the first Williams sister to win a major, and seven years after she first claimed the world's top ranking, Serena will finish the year ranked No. 1. It's appropriate that that distinction goes not to the hapless Safina but to Williams, the best in the game.

November 4, 2009


The BEST at her Best by Steve Tignor

Serena's thinking about the 2012 Olympics

Serena Williams revealed that she plans to compete in the 2012. One of the few trophies Serena hasn’t obtained in tennis is that precious Olympic gold medal in the women’s singles. She has won two golds in the doubles (in 2000 and 2008) but the memories of her quarter-final defeat to Elena Dementieva in Beijing still rankles. “2012's just around the corner," says Serena. "Venus and I are so going to be there. We are already talking about how exciting that will be on grass. What a great moment. But I could have won the singles last time. I was up 4-1 against the girl who went on to win it with an easy shot to go 5-1. And I lost."

So we have at least three more seasons to appreciate the Williams sisters. One of Serena’s aims is to overtake Billie Jean King in the lists of grand slams won. If she continues to show the unstoppable form she displayed in Doha last week it will be a formality.

Glamour Magazine: Women of the Year 2009

She is a Woman of the Year because: “When most people would falter, she is able to raise her game a level, and that’s what you look for in champions. I feel confident she will win more major singles titles than my 12. And that makes me very proud.” — Billie Jean King, tennis champ and 2006 Woman of the Year

Serena Williams: The Athlete
by: Shaun Dreisbach

Serena Williams feels the pull of competition the way the rest of us feel gravity. It’s why she entered her first tennis tournament at age eight (against her dad’s wishes). It’s why she’s earned 11 Grand Slam titles, two Olympic gold medals and more prize money than any female athlete in the history of sports. “I use the trophies as punch bowls,” she says, laughing. But along the way, she’s had to overcome setbacks and personal tragedies, including the 2003 murder of her beloved sister Yetunde and injuries that relegated her to 140th place during the 2006 season.

After tooth-and-nailing her way up the rankings again, this year she capped her comeback by winning Wimbledon against her sister Venus. (“I love you, Venus,” she later tweeted. “You made me work hard today.”) Of course, Serena’s competitiveness also fueled her outburst at this year’s U.S. Open, for which she soon made amends. “I want to sincerely apologize…. I handled myself inappropriately,” she said, then calmly won the doubles title with Venus.

Other recent victories: She came out with an apparel line on HSN and an autobiography, On the Line. Even more important, in 2008 her Serena Williams Foundation opened a secondary school in rural Kenya, with plans for more. “My goal is not to be the best athlete in the world,” she says. “My goal is to help others…. When I cut the ribbon at that school, I felt so genuinely happy. I’ve never felt that way winning Wimbledon or any other tournament. And I have won them all!”

November 2, 2009

Serena at London Book Signing

Serena Williams is pictured during a book signing at Harrods department store in London, on November 2, 2009. Williams was promoting her book entitled "Serena Williams, My Life, Queen of the Court". (Photo credit: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

November 1, 2009

Serena Williams - Year End #1

After a season-long battle for the world No.1 ranking, Serena Williams will conclude the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour season on top. When the new rankings are released on Monday, November 2, Williams will be No.1 again, replacing Dinara Safina. Williams secured a return to No.1 following Safina's opening match retirement and Williams' win against Svetlana Kuznetsova. She will hold the top spot at least through the week of December 28, 2009. It will mark the fifth time in Serena's career (third time in 2009) that she will rise to No.1, having held the top ranking for 57 weeks from July 8, 2002 to August 10, 2003; four weeks from September 8 to October 6, 2008; 11 weeks from February 2 to April 19, 2009; and two weeks from October 12 to October 25, 2009. Williams will conclude the season as the top-ranked player for the second time in her career, having achieved the feat in 2002 also. And as a result of the top ranking not changing hands throughout the off-season, she will increase her career total to at least 83 weeks as the top ranked player.

"2009 has been a truly memorable season for me during which I enjoyed some of the biggest wins of my career," Williams said. "Capturing the year-end world No.1 ranking is a huge accomplishment for me and I am thrilled that all the hard work has paid off." "I congratulate Serena on having a great year and achieving one of her goals by finishing the season as the world No.1 player," said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the Tour. "Serena is a terrific ambassador for our sport." Aldo Liguori, Sony Ericsson Corporate VP and Head of Global Communications & PR, said: "We are delighted to congratulate Serena on this great accolade. Finishing the season ranked Sony Ericsson WTA Tour No.1 for the second time in her career is a tremendous achievement and we look forward to seeing Serena have an even better 2010 season."

The 28-year-old American has had a stellar 2009 season, winning two Grand Slam singles titles (Australian Open and Wimbledon) and the Sony Ericsson Championship. She held No.1 for 13 weeks earlier this year, 11 from February 2 to April 19 and two more from October 12 to 25. In addition to her success in singles she has won four doubles titles with Venus Williams, including three majors (Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open). Earlier this year in February, Williams became the first professional female athlete to eclipse the $23-million mark in any professional sports league and surpassed Lindsay Davenport ($22,144,735) as the all-time prize money leader on the Tour. She has now set the record for single season prize money ($6.19 Million), having eclipsed the previous record of $5 million held by Justine Henin (2007).

Williams turned professional at the age of 14 in November 1995 and played her first tournament in Qu├ębec City, Canada. In her 14-year career she has won every major title at least once for a total of 11 Grand Slam singles titles, becoming only the fifth woman, other than Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, and Steffi Graf, to achieve such a feat. Of the current players, only her older sister, Venus Williams, comes close to such an achievement, with seven Grand Slam singles titles to her name. Williams has won four Australian Opens (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009), one French Open (2002), three Wimbledons (2002, 2003, 2009) and three US Opens (1999, 2002, 2008). Also, Williams has won two Olympic golds, playing doubles with Venus at Sydney in 2000 and at Beijing in 2008, and is the owner of 35 singles and 17 doubles titles.

Serena sets single season Prize Money record

Serena earned $1.55 million for winning the Sony Ericsson Championship (after finishing the event undefeated) bringing her total prize money for the year to a record $6.19 million. Justine Henin had the previous record of $5.43 million in 2007.

Serena wins Sony Ericsson Championship Title!

Serena Williams won her second career WTA Championship title on Sunday with a commanding 6-2 7-6(7-4) victory over sister Venus, a triumph which earned her a cool $US1.55 million. It was Serena's fourth straight win over her sister this year and leads their head to head 13-10. This is Serena's second season-ending trophy to add to her 2001 success and this win made her just the second player after Justine Henin in 2007 to win two Grand Slam titles as well as the WTA Championship in the same year.

World number one Serena won all five matches at this event, including a group stage win over Venus and such was her dominance in the final that she gave up just seven points on serve. The 85-minute win was Serena's 13th victory in 23 meetings with her sister, a family rivalry stretching back to 1998. In a symbol of this injury-hit, desert money-spinner, which had seen four players end their campaigns prematurely through various aches and pains, both sisters arrived on court nursing knocks. Serena had her left thigh heavily-strapped while Venus had protection on her left knee, treated several times during her gruelling semi-final win over Jelena Jankovic.

But Serena, with four wins from four matches here, was the fresher of the two in the first set, a legacy of having spent three and a half hours less than her sister in reaching this stage. Breaks in the third and seventh games gave the new world number one the opening set. Serve dominated the second set before Serena stretched to a 5-2 lead in the tie-breaker. An ace set up match point and the title was secured with a crunching forehand winner. Talk about serving: Serena held five of her last seven service games at love and lost just one point in each of the other two. Serena won an incredible 87 per cent of her points behind her serve.

This was Serena's third tournament win of the season after Wimbledon and the Australian Open. "I haven't won a tournament that wasn't a Grand Slam in a while, so that was even more exciting," she said. "My losing streak in [other] tournaments is over."