Serena Williams kept the No. 1, and added No. 50.
Williams beat Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-4 in the final of the Madrid Open Sunday to retain her No. 1 ranking and collect her 50th career title, while Rafael Nadal eased by Stanislas Wawrinka 6-2, 6-4 for his fifth title since returning from a knee injury.
The second-ranked Sharapova would have overtaken the top ranking with a win, but Williams stormed out to an early lead as Sharapova struggled with her serve.
Despite Sharapova briefly recovering her poise in the second set, Williams’ form never dipped as she eased to the title.
“It feels good,” Williams said about winning her 50th title. “I don’t know how many more I can win. Who knows if I will ever win another title? I just want to live the dream. Hopefully, I can keep it going.
“When you first start out everything is so exciting. Now I expect to win.”
Williams improved her record against Sharapova to 13-2, with her only two losses coming in 2004.
The 31-year-old Williams, playing in her first red clay final since 2002, dominated Sharapova from the start as the Russian never managed to steady her erratic serve.
“I started the match really slow and against an opponent like her you can’t give her that,” said Sharapova, who had won her previous seven red-clay finals. “I wasn’t reacting well. I wasn’t moving well. Not only the double faults I made, I didn’t have a lot of great first serves in. She was really stepping up.”
Sharapova committed five double faults in her first three service games, dropping the first two as Williams eased to a one-set lead. Her shaky serve let Williams gear up and land several winning shots before closing out the first set with a floating return that clipped the line.
Sharapova earned and converted her first break point to open the second set, opening up a 3-1 advantage.
But the former No. 1-ranked player’s serve again betrayed her as she hit another double fault to cede back her break after Williams had set up three break points with her precise groundstrokes.
Williams closed out the final after Sharapova recorded her eighth and final double fault before hitting the ball long to give up her fifth service game.
Last year, Williams won here on the experimental blue clay surface that was removed after complaints from players that it was too slick.
Williams said the move back to red clay meant the tournament was a good warm-up for the French Open starting at the end of the month.
“This court is definitely different,” she said. “It plays like Roland Garros and that is a plus. So I think it is great preparation.”
Cheered on by the home crowd at the Caja Magica, the fifth-ranked Nadal cruised to his 55th career title and extended his head-to-head record with Wawrinka to 9-0.
Nadal flopped on his back and screamed in joy when his Swiss opponent’s final volley fell long to end the match in one hour and 12 minutes.
It was Nadal’s seventh straight final since recovering from a nagging case of tendinitis in his left knee that sidelined him for seven months.
“I’m very happy and maybe this victory is even more special considering how complicated this year has been,” said Nadal. “This tournament couldn’t have gone better for me.
“I think this was my best match of the tournament. This was perhaps the match where I was the most aggressive.”
Nadal imposed his ground game from the start. He worked his opponent around the court with his left-handed shots, and punished him with passing shots when he tried to come forward.
The local favorite set the tone in the first game by breaking Wawrinka with a vicious flick to land the ball on the sideline.
Nadal, who had won here in 2005 and 2010, roared out to a 4-0 lead in 20 minutes.
The 15th-ranked Wawrinka recovered in the second set and managed to get Nadal’s service game to deuce. But Nadal returned two line-drive shots by Wawrinka at the net before he fired the third try long. Nadal then drove in an ace to end Wawrinka’s challenge.
“Nadal showed again that he is the best on clay,” said Wawrinka, who also congratulated Nadal’s coaching staff for helping him back from his layoff.
“Since he has come back he has shown that it is really tough to beat him.”
Serena Williams kept the No. 1, and added No. 50.
Outlaws shut out Indians
Marlow baseball snapped a three-game losing streak with a 10-0 win at home against Comanche Monday.
“We needed to get this win and we got it,” said Marlow coach Jeff Brewer.
Demon golfers focused on regionals
The Duncan boys golfers have two more tournaments left before regionals.
The Demons will head to Ardmore this Monday for a tournament that was postponed from March 3 because of the weather.
Tourney named in memory of T-ball player
The Comanche Youth Council will dedicate its preseason baseball and softball tournament to the memory of a T-ball player who unexpectedly passed away this past weekend.
Tyee Percival, 5, was in his first year of T-ball and played for the Rangers. The youth council has named its preseason tourney the Tyee Percival Memorial Tournament. The council will hang a commemorative banner over the T-ball field at the Comanche Field of Dreams.
Lady Donkeys push towards playoffs
Fighting its roster limitations, Bray-Doyle slowpitch softball has a rare opportunity in front of it.
Coach Frank Moser is optimistic about his chances in district versus Mayesville and No. 5 Roff. While Roff has been one of the best teams in Class 2A — it has a winning record despite almost all of its games coming against ranked competitors — Mayesville has been one of the worst. It picked up its first win against Alex on April 8 by just one run.
Outlaws have chance to host regionals
The Marlow baseball team has had to overcome some adversity in recent weeks, but coach Jeff Brewer is confident the team will get back on track.
The past week started with a road game at Blanchard, ranked seventh in Class 4A, last Tuesday. Then came a tough outing at home against Class 4A Newcastle Thursday and a showdown Friday at Sterling, ranked fourth in Class A.
Tennis teams place second
The Duncan tennis teams did well for themselves in a tough field at the BancFirst Tournament.
The girls played Friday and took second as a team, with Marisa Moore taking second at No. 2 singles and Aubrey Mouser and Jordan Clauson the same placing at No. 2 doubles. Taking third were Alex Bowers at No. 1 singles and Sydney Hendricks and Carly Kirkland at No. 1 doubles.
Bronchos boast top-notch backstops
Central High coach Jeff Jones has had to tinker with his lineup to get the best Bronchos on the field for most of the year, but one position he hasn’t had to worry about is catcher.
That consistency came in the form of two very different players.
First, there’s the unheralded freshman Keeton Sallee. Flirting with a .400 batting average, Sallee is one of the Bronchos’ best offensive weapons. On defense, his quick release and strong arm cause headaches for opponents on the basepath. Just months into his high-school career, he’s performing admirably.
Girls soccer wins big at Eisenhower
The Duncan girls soccer team dominated its match at Lawton Eisenhower Friday, winning 8-0.
“We really moved the ball well,” said Lady Demon coach Delydia Gay. “We did a fantastic job. Everyone got a good amount of playing time.”
‘Dial’-ing up a vaulting tradition
Marlow’s pole vaulters have a good chance to continue the legacy of Joe Dial.
Dial held the world record in the men’s indoor pole vault at one point, clearing 19 feet, 3 3/4 inches in on Feb. 1, 1986. He was a four-time state champion at Marlow from 1978 to 1981, with his best state meet mark coming in 1980 when he cleared 17 feet, 1 inch. He now coaches track at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa.
Demons post good times at tough meet
A meet at the University of Oklahoma Friday proved tough for the Duncan track athletes, but the coaches saw plenty of good things.
Duncan’s boys tallied nine top-six placings at a meet that mostly featured Class 6A schools. Kevin Roddy won the shot put (57’1.5”) and discus (178’11”), Mason Bivens won the 3200 (9:53.71) and Walker Clampitt won the 800 (2:00.03).
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