Williams wins again
12:57pm Saturday 4th January 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Serena Williams continued her dominance of women's tennis on Saturday, beating nearest challenger Victoria Azarenka 6-4 7-5 to win the Brisbane International final.
In an match-up between the top two female players in the world, the first set proved a close affair with only one break point, which Williams converted.
The pair then exchanged several breaks in a topsy-turvy second set but the American made her move when it counted most to wrap up a straight-sets victory in one hour and 38 minutes.
Williams has now won 58 tour singles titles and will go into the Australian Open defending a 22-match winning run.
And the world number one thinks this week in Brisbane, including wins over Azarenka and Maria Sharapova, has been perfect preparation for Melbourne.
"I feel like I'm being pushed into the deep end straightaway," Williams said on wtatennis.com.
"I think it's a good thing. In Melbourne if I have to face Maria again I'll know a little bit more what to expect, and same thing with Victoria.
"If I happen to play her in Melbourne, I'll know what to do and what to expect."
In the men's tournament, Roger Federer will renew his rivalry with Lleyton Hewitt after the pair set up a final showdown.
Swiss star Federer booked his spot in Sunday's contest by beating eighth seed Jeremy Chardy of France 6-3 6-7 (3/7) 6-3.
The former world number one was impressive throughout, affording his opponent just one break point in the entire contest - which he saved - and hitting 20 aces.
Hewitt, meanwhile, reached his first ATP Tour final on home soil for eight years with a 5-7 6-4 6-3 success over Japanese opponent Kei Nishikori.
The Australian has won just eight of his 26 matches with Federer but came out on top in their last meeting in the Gerry Weber Open final four years ago and is looking forward to another chance to improve his record.
"You want to play against the best players," Hewitt told the ATP World Tour website.
"Obviously Roger and I have a good history and a lot of tough matches in the past in slams and Davis Cups and everything. I'm going to enjoy it."