BRISBANE, Australia — Serena Williams proved the break between seasons hasn't hurt her momentum, capturing her 47th career title with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Saturday in the Brisbane International final.
Williams has won 35 of her past 36 matches, including titles at Wimbledon, the Olympics, the U.S. Open, the season-ending WTA championships and now the first event of 2013.
She already has won the Australian Open five times, and with the season's first major a little more than a week away, she's in good shape to add another title in Melbourne.
The Brisbane final was all over in 50 minutes with Williams dictating terms from the first break of serve in the sixth game.
In the men's draw, defending champion Andy Murray advanced to the final when fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori retired with an injured left knee while trailing 6-4, 2-0 in their semifinal earlier Saturday. The Olympic and U.S. Open champion will next meet 21-year-old Grigor Dimitrov, who is starting to live up to his billing as a star-in-the-making by reaching his first ATP Tour final with a 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (5) victory over Marcos Baghdatis.
At Doha, Qatar, Richard Gasquet won the Qatar Open for his eight career title, coming from a set down to beat Nikolay Davydenko 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3.
Davydenko, who struggled with injuries last season, called for the trainer early in the third set for treatment on his hip.
At Sydney, Caroline Wozniacki beat Poland's Urszula Radwanska 6-1, 6-2 in hot conditions today in the first round of the Sydney International.
After starting the season with an upset first-round loss to qualifier Ksenia Pervak at the Brisbane International, the seventh-seeded Wozniacki needed just 26 minutes to win the first set with boyfriend and top-ranked golfer Rory McIlroy watching at Sydney Olympic Park.
Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia beat 2011 Wimbledon champion and fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-1.
Maria Kirilenko, playing her first match since becoming engaged to Washington Capitals hockey star and fellow Russian Alex Ovechkin, beat Australian wild-card entry Olivia Rogowska 7-5, 6-2.
The men's tournament starts Monday.
At Chennai, India, second-seeded Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia rallied past semifinalist Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia 4-6, 6-2 6-2 and will play Roberto Bautista-Agut for the title.
The 80th-ranked Bautista-Agut followed up his stunning win over top seed and sixth-ranked Tomas Berdych with a victory over fifth-seeded Frenchman Benoit Paire 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Ninth-ranked Tipsarevic, who lost a close final to Canadian Milos Raonic here last year, praised Bedene and predicted he would soon be a top-50 player.