Serena Williams has carried her momentum from 2013 into the new season, beating No. 2-ranked Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 7-5 on Saturday to defend her title at the Brisbane International and set the tone for the Australian Open.
The top-ranked Williams extended her winning streak to 22 matches with the emphatic win over the reigning Australian Open champion, making it back-to-back victories over two of her main rivals. She beat four-time major winner Maria Sharapova in straight sets in the semifinals.
Venus Williams lost the final at Auckland, New Zealand earlier Saturday to Ana Ivanovic, ending the Williams sisters’ hopes of both winning a WTA title in the same week for the first time in 15 years.
In the Brisbane men’s draw, top-seeded Roger Federer beat Jeremy Chardy to set up a final against Lleyton Hewitt.