Serena Williams: Tennis Star Looks Ahead After Winning Family Circle Cup Final

on April 09 2012 3:34 PM

Less than an hour after the Family Circle Cup finals began Sunday, Serena Williams was a 6-0, 6-1 winner and dancing on Stadium Court to the strains of "Hey Ya!" by Outkast.

With an emphatic win over Lucie Safarova, Williams claimed her first clay-court title since she won the South Carolina tournament in 2008.

On what has long been her shakiest surface, Williams looked as solid as ever.

In winning her 40th WTA title in the Family Circle Cup, Williams put an exclamation point on a dominant week, and signaled that she will be a force during Grand Slam and Olympic events this summer.

Williams went through a representative Family Circle field this week like it was a bowl of her favorite banana pudding. Her victory over 26th-ranked Safarova was just as lopsided, if not quite as impressive, as Saturday's 6-1, 6-1 semifinal trouncing of No. 5 Samantha Stosur.

"I don't know what was going on with me the last two matches," Williams told the crowd after the match. "But I hope I can keep it up. I definitely want to continue this," said Williams who will move from 10 to nine when the new world rankings come out.

"I've never played consistently at such a high level with low errors like this, and the scary thing is I could have served so much better."

This marked Williams's first WTA title since turning 30 in September and she is the first 30-year-old to win on the green clay in Charleston since Martina Navratilova in 1990.

Williams hammered five aces, 27 winners and had just eight unforced errors. She won 20-of-25 first serve points and saved all four break-point chances.

She now needs one more title to tie Kim Clijsters (41) for 13th place on the WTA all-time list.

Williams said the next time she plays will be in another clay-court tournament in Madrid, and then the Italian Open, before moving on to Paris for the year's second Grand Slam, the French Open.

Williams has talked frequently this week of her desire to add another title at Roland Garros - her only French crown came in 2002 - to her Hall-of-Fame resume of 13 major championships. She also talked about moving to Paris.

Saforova was quick to compliment the American. 

"She was amazing," said Saforova. "She deserved it."

The tournament named its stadium court on Saturday night for tennis great and pioneer Billie Jean King, who was on court during Williams's trophy ceremony.

King and members of the Original Nine players, who defied the tennis establishment to form the first women's tour and fight for better prize money, were saluted during the weekend

"I want to thank Billie," Williams said. "Without her, I don't know if any of us would be here."