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.
Bronchos deliver big victory
No. 12 Central High kicked off its season in dominant fashion, winning 12-3 versus Elmore City-Pernell Friday.
The game was originally supposed to at Elmore City, but their fields were still damaged from the rainfall earlier this week. So the Bronchos hosted the matchup, but Central High coach Jeff Jones still allowed his opponents to be the home team.
Comanche opens with rivalry game
First-year head coach Brent Crow started out the first Comanche baseball practice of the year Saturday asking his players if it would be possible for them to come a half-hour early on Sunday.
The Indians have just two practices before they open up against No. 3 rival Marlow at home Monday, and Crow needs as much time with the players as possible. The players agreed to come at 1:30 p.m. instead of 2, but Crow knows getting ready for the Outlaws in two days will still be a tough task.
Demon track athletes tested right away
The Duncan boys track team placed seventh out of 20 teams at a meet in Norman Friday.
Those teams included last year’s Class 6A state champion Broken Arrow and runner-up Edmond Memorial, the top five teams at last year’s Class 5A state meet and defending 4A state champion Plainview.
Boys tennis ties for third at Ada
The Duncan boys tennis team tied for third at a tournament in Ada Friday.
The Demons and McAlester each scored 42 points, with Carl Albert and Deer Creek tying for second with 43 each. Heritage Hall won the tourney with 61.
Demons keep it close against Southmoore
The Duncan boys soccer team challenged a tough Class 6A Southmoore squad on the road, losing 3-0.
Duncan kept it scoreless for much of the first half, but gave up two late goals. Demon coach Marcus Williams said the team had a couple of mental breakdowns but played well overall.
10 players named Oilfield all stars
There will be 10 players representing Stephens County schools Bray-Doyle and Velma-Alma in the boys and girls Oilfield Conference All-Star games Monday night at 6:30 and 8 p.m.
Velma-Alma coach Kenny Bare will coach the girls game, which will include his own players Samantha Moore, Kaylie Keenan, Teddi Southerland, Ariah Johnson and Bita Humphreys. The players were selected by the eight conference coaches.
Comets can’t pull out upset
When Velma-Alma senior Conner Sullivan hit a halfcourt shot at the halftime buzzer to trim Glencoe’s lead, the Panthers, who had gone 57-1 in the last 58 games had to be thinking “oh no, here we go again.”
Comanche can’t close out Alva
It wasn’t the way No. 8 Comanche basketball wanted its season to end, but with a 64-62 loss to No. 10 Alva Thursday, the Indians headed home after the first round of the Class 3A area tournament.
Youth bowlers are state runners-up
Duncan’s high school bowlers took second at the state tournament.
Girls golfers second at Guthrie
The Duncan girls didn’t play under ideal conditions at the Guthrie tournament Thursday, but claimed second as a team.
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