Serena Williams won the Italian Open for the second consecutive year on Sunday, as she crushed her Italian opponent Sara Errani 6-3, 6-0 at the Foro Italico in Rome.
The world number one went on to win the French Open the last time that she won the Italian Open and she is looking in strong form going into Roland Garros, which begins on Sunday May 25th.
The American won the first three games in the opening set against the home favourite, but Errani managed to break back and reduced the deficit to one game at 4-3.
But Errani’s joy was short-lived, as she then had to call for the trainer after tweaking her left thigh, and the injury hindered her for the rest of the match.
The 27-year-old, who was aiming to become the first Italian to win the tournament in 30 years, found it impossible to compete with the 17 time Grand Slam champion from that point, and the next eight games were all won by Williams.
It took her just 21 minutes to win the second set and seal her 60th WTA singles title, and her win loss record on clay since the start of the 2012 season now stands at 53-2, cementing her position as one of the strong favourites to win the French Open for the third time.
Williams remains unbeaten against Errani, as she has won all seven matches that have been played between the pair.
Errani, ranked at 11 in the world, found it hard to fight back the tears when she spoke to the crowd after the match, as she fell at the last hurdle in the bid to win her eighth career singles title.
"I'm sorry," she said. "I do it all for the fans and I'll do better next year. But it's been an amazing week."
Williams paid tribute to her opponent, and had sympathy for her injury that curtailed her performance.
She said: "I'm so sorry for Sara. She played so well all week and I hope she's okay for Roland Garros.
"I would like to say thank you to my team for keeping my body in shape and thank you to the fans for another incredible tournament."
The win marked ten victories in a row at the tournament for Williams and she has now won three singles titles in 2014, to add to her victories at the Brisbane International in January and the Miami Masters in March.
The 32-year-old had struggled to build momentum during the clay-court season before her successful run in Rome, as she was knocked out in the first round of the Family Circle Cup in Charleston by Jana Cepelova at the start of April, and then lost in the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open later in the month.
She will be aiming to be the first woman to defend the title at Roland Garros since Justine Henin in 2007.
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