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CHARLESTON, SC, USA - A day after a semifinal win she said was one of the best matches of her career, Serena Williams (Washington Kastles' star pictured to the left) brought that same form out again for the final of the Family Circle Cup, steamrolling Lucie Safarova in 58 minutes, 60 61, to cross another milestone - the 40th WTA title of her illustrious career.

 

On Saturday, the No.5-seeded Williams defeated a No.2-seeded Sam Stosur in just 58 minutes, 61 61, putting together an almost unheard of +14 differential against one of the best clay court players in the world (29 winners to 15 errors).

 

Williams did even better against No.9 seed Lucie Safarova in the final, winning the first nine games of the match to build a 60 30 lead; Safarova held at love to get on the board, but Williams won another three games to close it out, 60 61.

 

The match time of the final was the same as her semifinal, 58 minutes, but her differential was an even better +19 (27 winners to just eight errors).

 

Williams lost just 15 games all week - the fewest en route to a WTA title this year. But the biggest stat might be winning that 40th WTA title, just the third active player to get to 40 (Venus Williams has 43, Kim Clijsters has 41).

 

It was only Williams' fourth WTA clay court title, but they've all been big ones - Rome and Roland Garros in 2002, and right here in Charleston in 2008.

 

Safarova still had a stellar week, reaching her third Premier final (she was also a finalist at Paris [Indoors] in 2007 and 2010) and recording some meaningful wins the last two rounds, over Vera Zvonareva in the quarterfinals (her 14th Top 10 win) and Polona Hercog in the semifinals (her first career double bagel).


Photo: Camerawork USA