TORONTO, Canada: World No. 1 Serena Williams made it look easy on Sunday, routing Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-0 to win the WTA title in Toronto and signal her readiness for a US Open title bid.
Williams needed just 61 minutes to capture her eighth title of 2013 and the 54th of her career, which moved her past Monica Seles into sole possession of ninth on the WTA career list in the Open Era.
But she said the lopsided win belied the difficulty of winning any title. “No tournament is ever easy, especially being in the position I am in,” Williams said.
“The tournament starts and they expect you to win. The tournament is like, ‘Well, you’re going to be in the finals. After your semifinals I want you to do this, and you have to do this and this….
“Who knows if I’ll even make it to the semifinals? It’s a lot of pressure and it’s not easy.”
The 31-year-old American, stung by a fourth-round Wimbledon exit after grabbing her 16th Grand Slam crown at Roland Garros, claimed a third Canadian title to go with those she won in 2001 and 2011.
It was a perfect prep for her defense of the US Open title, with Williams hoping she can put her Australian Open and Wimbledon disappointments behind her when the last Grand Slam of the year begins on August 26.
“I’m disappointed I didn’t win Wimbledon or Australia,” said Williams, who is slated for one more hardcourt tuneup at Cincinnati next week. “I’m always insatiable.”
Her formula for attacking Flushing Meadows, the venue of the US Open, is simple: “Stay positive. . . stay hungry and just stay aggressive.”