Serena Williams beats Johanna Larsson to win Swedish Open
World number one Serena Williams recovered from her shock early exit at Wimbledon by beating home hope Johanna Larsson to win the Swedish Open.
The American dropped serve twice in the first set but overcame those setbacks to win 6-4 6-1 in Bastad.
Williams, 31, has now won 51 matches and seven titles in 2013.
She had been a strong favourite to win her 17th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon earlier this month, but lost to Sabine Lisicki in the last 16.
Serena Williams’s titles in 2013
- January – Brisbane International (hard court)
- March – Sony Open, Miami (hard court)
- April – Family Circle Cup, Charleston (clay)
- May – Madrid Open (clay)
- May – Italian Open, Rome (clay)
- June – French Open, Paris (clay)
- July – Swedish Open, Bastad (clay)
“It was really good to come here and win after a disappointing Wimbledon, so hopefully this confidence will help me for the rest of the year,” said the top seed.
Williams chose to return on clay at the relatively low-key Swedish event, and victory brought her a first ever title at an ‘international’ level tournament, the fourth tier below Grand Slams.
The second seed was Romanian Simona Halep, ranked 30th in the world, so it was no surprise that Williams won all five matches without dropping a set.
She did not have it all her own way in the final, however, struggling in the early stages and letting out a huge scream when she finally slammed a forehand winner at 3-1 down.
Larsson, the Swedish number one and world number 76, had her chances but could not convert as she struggled to make enough first serves.
Williams eventually found her range and from 4-3 down lost just two more games on her way to capturing the 53rd WTA title of her career.
She remains unbeaten on clay this season, having also won in Rome, Madrid and Charleston.
In Hamburg, Argentine qualifier Federico Delbonis could not follow up Saturday’s win over Roger Federer with another victory, as Fabio Fognini won the German Tennis Championships final 4-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-2.