Serena Williams wins eighth Miami Open title. (FP)
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) – Serena Williams won her eighth Key Biscayne title Saturday and remained unbeaten this year by drubbing Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 6-0 in the final of the Miami Open tennis tournament.
Williams became the fourth woman to win the same WTA event at least eight times. Martina Navratilova won Chicago 12 times, the most titles by a woman at any tournament.
Navratilova was on hand to present the top-ranked Williams with her latest trophy.
Williams claimed her second title this year. She won her 19th Grand Slam championship at the Australian Open in January, and has now won 12 consecutive finals.
Williams improved to 18-0 this year. She withdrew before the Indian Wells semi-final last month with a knee injury but quickly recovered.
Williams was erratic at times as she navigated this year’s draw, and was jeered for angrily pounding the court with her racket in an early-round match.
But the sun-splashed crowd was firmly behind her in the final. A roar erupted when she entered the stadium, and she had them cheering her winners from the first point.
Suarez Navarro looked nervous, and while she managed to hold in her first two service games, Williams pulled away from there. Williams’ grunts grew louder as she closed out the first set, and she won the final ten games, including 25 of 30 points in the second set.
Mixing pace and direction, Williams won 21 of 22 points on her first serve, and she totalled 29 winners to three for Suarez Navarro. She improved to 5-0 against Suarez Navarro and has lost a total of 12 games in those matches.
Now 73-7 at Key Biscayne, Williams has won her past 18 matches in the tournament. She considers it her home event because she lives 90 minutes up Interstate 95 in Palm Beach Gardens. She has gone home with the championship trophy eight of the 15 times she has entered, with her first title in 2002.
The 26-year-old Suarez Navarro was playing in the biggest final of her career, and she’ll crack the Top 10 next week for the first time.