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Serena triumphs in Paris

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Serena Williams secured her second French Open title, a mere 11 years after her first, demonstrating that her ability to dominate the women's game is as formidable in her 30s as it was when she was a 20 year-old prodigy. It was her 16th Grand Slam title and she seems in the mood to add to that tally.

Williams beat Maria Sharapova in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, an effective if not outstanding victory, maintaining her ability to outmuscle the Russian with remorseless regularity. Sharapova had lost 12 straight matches against Williams since beating her at Wimbledon in 2004.

Sharapova fought tenaciously but Serena's athleticism and power are some way ahead of anything the women's tour can offer in the way of a challenge. Match point summed up the difference, Williams whacking down an unstoppable ace that Sharapova flailed at while emitting her trademark yelp of dismay.

Williams should have claimed many more French Open titles in the years between 2002 and 2013, but her commitment has been less than 100 percent as she has flirted with retirement and her fashion career. Ominously for her rivals, this victory seemed like evidence of a rekindled passion for the game.

She charmed the Roland Garros crowd by giving her victory interview in French. "I will be back next year because I love Paris, and I love the crowd here," she promised, although she seemed a little surprised to be told she had won 16 Grand Slams. In the past Williams has found the fickle Parisian crowd united against her, but she seems to have won them round with her stylish brilliance this year.

The defending champion Sharapova admitted that the American had been too strong for her. "She is a tough champion," Sharapova said. "Last year was incredibly special to me. I'd have loved to win again, but maybe next year."

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