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Serena Williams beat home favourite Sara Errani to lift her third Rome Masters trophy.
The world no.1 was made to work hard to take the first set 6-3 against the golden-girl of Italian tennis on Foro Italico’s Centre court.
But after Errani suffered a thigh injury Williams raced to a 6-0 win in the second set to take the title.
It is the third time the American has won the tournament and each year she has won in Rome she has gone on to win the French Open (2002, 2013).
Here’s what Serena had to say after the match. . .
What a great first set you had?
It was magical, she played really well and was doing everything and it was really unfortunate for to get injured in the last game of that set. But overall, I thought she was playing very well.
Now Paris: what are the biggest differences between these two tournaments?
The atmosphere. Today gave me a good opportunity to make me understanding of the atmosphere in Paris. It was a great opportunity for me. Obviously when you’re in Paris, it is a Grand Slam, there are maybe a little bit more nerves and everyone is very excited and energy level sometimes may be different.
Before her injury she was able to move you around the court a little bit?
When you play and you have nothing to lose you can only improve, and so I think she definitely improved since last year but I think I could have played a little bit better. I was a little slow, was a little nervous at the beginning, wasn’t quite hitting the shots the way I should have been.
That’s 60 titles now?
I am like fine wine, my tennis getting better with the age!
When did you start believing that you were a good tennis player?
I always thought I would win a Grand Slam, my parents told me that and when they told me I believed that I’ll be able to do it someday. When it comes down to it you’ll never really know and when I won my first Grand Slam I knew I was going to win more. It’s a strange feeling that started at a very young age and definitely helps a lot to win.
How do you feel now?
Better, I am not 100%, I am like so going on adrenaline, so I’ll take a couple more days off.
What’s your next goal?
I don’t know, I hope to win at least one more Grand Slam, it’ll be nice but I don’t want to think far ahead.
I just think one week at at a time and the next week is a Grand Slam week and obviously I want to do well but there are hundred more people who want to do the same so I’ll just go there and do the best that I can.
Who will be your toughest opponents for Paris, regarding what you saw in this tournament?
I never think about it because everyone I play I take seriously, it doesn’t matter if they’re no.2 or 100 – they are my toughest opponent in that day.
What about Venus, we saw her practicing…
Yes, she’s practicing a lot and she is getting ready. We’ll see I think she’s doing good and I’d love to play her.
You’re the no.1 on clay which is the biggest surprise of the last two years?
It is but now I just want to stay as confident in general on clay and on any other surfaces, just go out there and do my best. I’ve always played pretty well on grass and hard and I have always loved the clay I just never won on it even if I loved it.