Serena Williams silenced a full stadium of fans hoping to cheer on Italy’s own Sara Errani in the final of the 2014 Internazionali BNL d’Italia. It was a match early on as Serena was just a bit off to start. Still, the world #1 made enough shots to take the opening set 6-3. Then things went sideways for Errani, who suffered a thigh injury. From then on, any chance of an upset evaporated. Sara could barely move. And this is professional competition. No quarter asked and none given. Serena wiped Sara out 6-0 in the second set, needing only 21 minutes to write the final stanza. With the victory, Serena captures back to back Rome titles. She also reaches the 60 tournament titles plateau with no foreseeable end in the near future. It’s very likely that regardless of Sara’s injury, Serena would have won anyway. But to have a final end in such a lopsided way when one player can’t at least try to fight back due to a physical ailment is both anti-climatic and disappointing.
On the men’s side of the tournament, Novak Djokovic continued his recent mastery of Rafael Nadal, taking the title 4-6 6-3 6-3. Even I was surprised to see Djokovic hit 46 winners to Rafa’s 15. The world #1 from Spain never gets outhit like that…well, on the other hand, after seeing it I guess he does. That Nole could shockingly be the favorite heading into Roland Garros and not Nadal wasn’t what was on Djokovic’s mind. He dedicated his win to his native Serbia and the Balkans region that is suffering historical flooding. Nole also donated his entire 549,000 euro prizemoney (about 752,882 USD) to flood relief. The region has been hit with 3 months worth of rain in the span of 4 days.
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2 NOVAK DJOKOVIC (won 4-6 6-3 6-3 vs 1 Rafael Nadal)
1 SERENA WILLIAMS (won 6-3 6-0 vs 10 Sara Errani)