Tennis: Serena breaks into big league

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The Independent Online
SERENA WILLIAMS overcame a sore knee and Steffi Graf in the final of the Evert Cup at the weekend. Williams, the unseeded 17-year-old, beat the fifth-seeded former world No 1 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 in one hour 45 minutes.

"I'm so excited," said Williams, who bounced up and down after winning a 12-ball rally to claim her second career title. "I now know that I can win the big ones. I don't know how many matches I've won in a row but it's seven to win a Slam. I'm prepared to do that."

Graf was disappointed at her lack of risk-taking in a contest that saw her commit 26 unforced errors to 38 for Williams, while only hitting 11 winners.

"She was going for her shots more than I did," Graf said. "That was the difference... with taking risks, you put pressure on your opponent. Just putting balls in play is not enough."

The Spaniard Carlos Moya knocked Pete Sampras off the top of the world rankings when he beat the Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 in Saturday's semi-finals of the Newsweek Champions Cup in Indian Wells.

"I hope I never wake up from this dream," Moya said after cutting a large cake shaped in a number one to mark his rise. In the final, the 22-year-old Moya was to play Mark Philippoussis last night, who beat American Chris Woodruff 6-1, 6-2 in his semi-final.

Moya was expecting to hear from the Spanish king, Juan Carlos. "He's going to be happy," said Moya. "He's the king of Spain, but, at least this week, I'm the king of the world."