FOURTH CONSECUTIVE TITLE
ROME — Serena Williams won her fourth consecutive title of the year in dominating fashion Sunday, beating third-seeded Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-3 in the Italian Open final.
The top-ranked American will enter the French Open, which starts next Sunday, on a career-best 24-match winning streak.
Williams had twice won 21 matches in a row before, although they came more than a decade ago, in 2002 and the beginning of 2003.
Martina Navratilova established the longest women’s winning run in the Open Era at 74 matches in 1984.
Williams’ only previous title at this clay-court event came when she beat Justine Henin in the 2002 final.
That was also the year she won her only Roland Garros title. Last year in Paris, Williams lost in the opening round of a major for the first time, falling to 111th-ranked Virginie Razzano of France.
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