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Sania & Bethanie bag Brisbane title

Brisbane: Sania Mirza and her partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands had a superb start to the season as they lifted the WTA Brisbane International trophy with a come-from-behind win against Kveta Peschke and Anna-Lena Groenefeld here on Saturday.

The second seeded Indo-American pair erased the first set deficit to down the fourth seeded rivals 4-6, 6-4, 10-7 in the summit showdown of the event. It was Sania’s first doubles title of the season while 15th of her career.

Sania and Mattek earned 470 ranking points each.

In the women’s singles final, Serena Williams proved the break between seasons hasn’t hurt her momentum in any way, capturing her 47th career title with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-1 victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Serena has won 35 of her past 36 matches, including titles at Wimbledon, the Olympics, the US Open, the season-ending championship and now the first event of 2013.

The 15-time Grand Slam champion 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 one.

In a tournament featuring eight of the top 10 female players, not one women’s match in Brisbane featured seeded players against each other due to a series of injuries and upset losses.

Serena missed a chance to extend her 11-1 winning record against top-ranked Victoria Azarenka when the 23-year-old Belarussian withdrew a half hour before their scheduled semi-final on Friday night due to an infected toe on her right foot. Azarenka was more concerned about being ready for the Australian Open.

The night off obviously didn’t bother Williams, who dominated the final after breaking No. 36-ranked Pavlyuchenkova in the sixth game.

She went on a roll, conceding only three points in the last three games of the first set during a seven-game run until Pavlyuchenkova finally held serve in the fourth game of the second set.

The match was all over in 50 minutes, with Williams firing nine aces and hitting 24 winners compared with only one ace and nine winners for her rival. “I always feel like I don't know how to play tennis when I play against you,” Pavlyuchenkova told Serena at the trophy presentation. The pair had travelled together on a training trip to Mauritius in the off-season but didn't really hit against each other at the time.

Accustomed to victory as she is, Serena started as usual by thanking the sponsors, her God, organizers, the fans and started to thank her dad, Richard.

“This is getting so routine, I'm saying ‘my dad’ and he’s not even here!” Williams said, slapping her forehead as she laughed, before finishing off her list of people to thank.