• Serena Williams wins Cincinnati after beating Ivanovic
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     | August 18,2014
     
    AP Photo

    Serena Williams prepares to return a shot during Sunday’s match against Ana Ivanovic at the Western & Southern Open in Mason, Ohio.

    MASON, Ohio — Serena Williams got one of her most elusive titles on her sixth try.

    Williams needed only 62 minutes to beat Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-1 on Sunday in the Western & Southern Open for a personal breakthrough.

    She had never even reached the finals in Cincinnati until last year, when she fell apart and lost to Victoria Azarenka on a third-set tiebreaker.

    No wobbles this time. After getting broken in the first game, she took control with her serve and took advantage of Ivanovic’s sloppy play, improving to 5-0 in finals this year.

    Ivanovic was treated for a stomach ailment during her nearly 3-hour win over Maria Sharapova in the semifinals Saturday night.

    She didn’t have much left against Williams, who served 12 aces while getting a long-awaited trophy for her efforts.

    The only other event that Williams has played six times without a title is Sydney.

    It was a good matchup for Williams, who is 7-1 in her career against Ivanovic. Her only loss came at the Australian Open this year. Although their last three matches have been close — all going three sets — this one was one-sided after the first few games.

    Williams developed a stiff back that limited her serve in the semifinals on Saturday night. She moved stiffly at the start Sunday, double-faulted in the first game and was broken — an ominous sign.

    But she started moving better and took control with her serve, pulling even at 3-3. She clinched the set when Ivanovic fell behind 15-30, then double-faulted twice in a row.

    The back problem came into play in the second set. Williams winced after a serve in the opening game and arched her back. She stretched her back a few times between points.

    Ivanovic couldn’t take advantage. Despite the loss, she’ll move back into the top 10 in the WTA rankings with her strong showing in Cincinnati.

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