x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Serena Williams just about zoned in for Australian Open

Serena Williams says she is close to being completely in the 'zone' and Andy Murray looks like he is already there as preparations for the Australian Open continue.

Serena Williams is very pleased with how her preparation is going ahead of the season's first grand slam, the Australian Open.
Serena Williams is very pleased with how her preparation is going ahead of the season's first grand slam, the Australian Open.

Serena Williams said she was close to accessing the sporting "zone" during her emphatic 6-2, 6-1 victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the final of the Brisbane International on Saturday.

Williams needed only 51 minutes to beat the Russian in an ominous warm-up for the Australian Open that begins in Melbourne next week.

"I feel like right now I'm playing some of my best tennis," the American said. "I feel like I want to do better and play better still.

"I've been in the zone a few times. I don't know if I was in the zone today, but I was definitely heading in that direction. I've been in the twilight zone before, where I just felt so good I couldn't do anything wrong."

Andy Murray said he is ready to defend his Brisbane title after an injury to Kei Nishikori handed him a place in today's final.

Murray, the top seed, was in control of the last-four clash at 6-4, 2-0 ahead when Nishikori was forced to retire with a knee problem.

The US Open champion will meet first-time finalist Grigor Dimitrov, who defeated former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis 6-3, 5-7, 7-6. "I've served pretty well for the majority of the tournament and I've moved better every single match," Murray said.

"Grigor plays with a lot of variety and he can play a lot of shots."

In Hopman Cup play, Spain defeated Serbia 2-1 to win the competition for the fourth time last night. Fernando Verdasco and Anabel Medina Garrigues claimed the title by winning the mixed doubles 6-4, 7-5 from Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic.

Djokovic took the first match for Serbia by overcoming Verdasco 6-3, 7-5. Medina Garrigues levelled the tie by outlasting Ivanovic 6-4, 6-7, 6-2.

Elsewhere, top seed Agnieszka Radwanska beat Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer 6-4 6-4 in the final to lift the ASB Classic in Auckland.

And China's star Li Na played her way to victory in the final of the Shenzhen Open, beating Czech rival Klara Zakopalova 6-3, 1-6, 7-5.