Serena claims Brisbane crown
Top seed Serena Williams secured the Brisbane International title with a 6-4 7-5 victory over Victoria Azarenka in the final on Saturday.
In a battle between the top two players in the world, Williams won two closely-fought sets to complete the win in an hour and 38 minutes.
The defending champion just shaded her opponent over the course of the contest, her powerful serve coming up trumps on a number of occasions.
A single break of serve from Williams was the difference between the two in the first set. The 17-time grand slam winner was broken twice in the back-and-forth second set but Azarenka dropped serve three times.
"I feel like I'm being pushed into the deep end straight away," Williams told the WTA Tour's official website.
"I think it's a good thing. In Melbourne if I have to face Maria (Sharapova) again I'll know a little bit more what to expect, and same thing with Victoria.
"If I happen to play her in Melbourne, I'll know what to do and what to expect."
Williams has now won 14 of her 17 matches against Azarenka, who was looking to strike a psychological blow over her rival ahead of the Australian Open.
Williams, who did not drop a set throughout the tournament, is currently on a 22-match winning run stretching back to the latter part of 2013.