Williams sees off Ivanovic
World No 1 Serena Williams warmed up for the US Open in fine fashion by claiming the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati with a 6-4 6-1 win over Ana Ivanovic.
For the top-seeded American, the win clinched her first-ever Cincinnati title and sent a message that she is in top form heading into the year's final grand slam, where she is the two-time defending champion.
After falling behind early, Williams broke her ninth seeded opponent's serve in the sixth game of the first set to pull even and then broke again four games later to wrap up the opener in 38 minutes.
A year removed from losing the Cincinnati final in a third set tiebreak to Victoria Azarenka, Williams left nothing to chance in a dominant second set.
She broke Ivanovic to open a 3-1 lead in the second set and then relied on her powerful serve to carry her the rest of the way, finishing the 62-minute match.
"It was such a great week," said Williams, who turns 33 next month. "She was playing so hard, hitting so many winners."
Williams hammered 12 aces and 26 winners in her victory, added: "I just kind of close my eyes and serve. When you think about it too much you get kind of crazy."
She now has five wins in 2014 to go with victories in Brisbane, Miami, Rome and Stanford.