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Rome Sunday: The Final Reckoning

Serena Williams' two titles and perfect 15-0 record have cast a shadow over the 2013 clay court season and on Sunday she looks to round off her French Open preparations with victory at the Foro Italico.

Published May 18, 2013 12:00

Rome Sunday: The Final Reckoning
Serena Williams

ROME, Italy - Eleven years after her sole triumph at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, Serena Williams goes for title number two, taking on the fit-again Victoria Azarenka.

Watch live action from Rome on WTA Live powered by TennisTV!

Sunday, Final

Campo Centrale
[1] Serena Williams (USA #1) vs. [3] Victoria Azarenka (BLR #3)
Head-to-head:
Williams leads 11-2
It is only mid-May, but Serena Williams already has four titles tucked safely away in that crowded trophy cabinet of hers. On Sunday afternoon at the Foro Italico, she will look to make it five and sign off ahead of the French Open with a perfect 16-0 win-loss record on the clay.

Despite her busy schedule, Williams appears to be gathering, rather than running out of, steam the closer she gets to Paris; this week she has used the extra time afforded on a clay court to display her full repertoire of shots, dropping a meager 10 games en route to the final.

Worryingly for her opponent there, Victoria Azarenka, Williams still feels there is more to come - dissatisfied after her 63 60 semifinal win over Halep, she returned a few hours later for an unscheduled practice session.

Nevertheless, Azarenka will go into the encounter with spirits raised after playing her best tennis since returning from her recent ankle injury to overcome Sara Errani - and a partisan Roman crowd - in the semifinals. The Belarusian will be further buoyed the competitive nature of her recent battles with the World No.1, including that dramatic three set win in Doha earlier this year.

Final Thoughts
Williams: "I don't know if I feel better on clay this year or last year. I felt great last year and I feel great this year too. I do feel a little bit more consistent here than I was in Madrid and I'm really happy to play like this. I have a tough match in the final so hopefully I can just keep the level up."

Azarenka: "I think it's important to bring your A-game in the final and just try to do the best you can. Serena is a great champion and in terrific form right now, so, for me, it's important to test myself at that level again and I'm looking forward to it."

Road To The Final
Serena Williams
First Round: bye
Second Round: d. Laura Robson, 62 62 (1:15)
Third Round: d. Dominika Cibulkova, 60 61 (1:06)
Quarterfinals: d. Carla Suárez Navarro, 62 60 (0:56)
Semifinals: d. Simona Halep, 63 60 (1:05)

Victoria Azarenka
First Round: bye
Second Round: d. Julia Goerges, 62 60 (1:01)
Third Round: d. Ayumi Morita, 61 20 ret. (0:45)
Quarterfinals: d. Samantha Stosur, 64 16 63 (2:00)
Semifinals: d. Sara Errani, 60 75 (1:11)

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