Serena races to her eighth title for the year
World number one Serena Williams made it look easy, routing Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-0 to win the WTA title in Toronto and signal her readiness for the US Open.
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 final. After your semi-final I want you to do this, and you have to do this and this ...
"Who knows if I'll even make it to the semi-finals? 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 defence 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 hard-court tuneup at Cincinnati this week. "I'm always insatiable."
Cirstea, who had beaten three top-10 players en route to the final in Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova and Li Na, as well as former world number one Jelena Jankovic, couldn't pull off another upset, although Williams acknowledged the Romanian's run had caught her attention.
"I know she's so capable of winning big matches," Williams said. "And she's had so many big upsets this week. I didn't want to be another casualty."
In the end it was never close as Williams handed Cirstea a third straight-sets defeat in as many meetings. Cirstea has never managed to take more than two games off Williams in a set.