WTA Madrid Open: Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapove in Sunday's final
Serena Williams retained her Mutua Madrid Open title with a 6-1 6-4 victory over Maria Sharapova.
Last Updated: 12/05/13 4:59pm
The American required just 78 minutes to dispose of her rival for the number one spot in the world rankings, extending her record to 13-2 against the Russian.
Sharapova has not beaten Williams since 2004 but with the top ranking up for grabs the 15-time Grand Slam champion turned on the style.
Williams had dropped just one set in the last seven meetings between the two and Sharapova looked unlikely to improve that record after she was broken three times in a one-sided opening set.
Sharapova, 26, did not manage to fashion a single break point in the first set - compared to five for Williams - but she improved in the second as she capitalised on one of her two break points.
However, that was not enough as Williams broke twice in reply to clinch the match and with it the 50th WTA title of her career - becoming only the 10th woman in history to reach the milestone.
"It feels good," Williams said about reaching the half-century. "I don't know how many more I can win. Who knows if I will ever win another title? I just want to live the dream. Hopefully I can keep it going.
"When you first start out everything is so exciting. Now I expect to win."
Williams won last year on the controversial blue clay but said the switch back to red would be of benefit with the French Open in mind.
"It definitely plays more like Roland Garros, so I think that's a plus," she added. "It's a little slower than it was last year and plays more like a true clay court. So I think it's great preparation."
By contrast, Sharapova committed five double faults in her first three service games and was unable to find a way back after such a poor start.
"I started the match really slow and against an opponent like her you can't give her that," said Sharapova, who had won her previous seven finals on clay.
"I wasn't reacting well. I wasn't moving well. Not only the double faults I made, I didn't have a lot of great first serves in. She was really stepping up."