Venus tells Tour rivals 'I can still get better'

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The Independent Online

Venus Williams issued a warning to send shivers down the spines of the other leading women in the world after she overpowered Monica Seles 6-0, 6-7, 6-3 to win the WTA Acura Classic in Carlsbad, California, for her third consecutive title.

Venus Williams issued a warning to send shivers down the spines of the other leading women in the world after she overpowered Monica Seles 6-0, 6-7, 6-3 to win the WTA Acura Classic in Carlsbad, California, for her third consecutive title.

The Wimbledon champion extended her match-winning streak to 15, just six behind this year's best by her United States Olympic team-mate Lindsay Davenport, whom she defeated in both the Wimbledon final and last week in Palo Alto.

"I'm playing my best tennis, but there is a lot I'm not doing right that I can do right. But I'm still winning," said Williams. She hammered 55 winners, including seven aces, while also committing 33 unforced errors in the one hour and 44 minute match. The hard-serving 20-year-old resolved her indecision about her future while ruled out with tendinitis in both wrists for the first four months of the year.

"I'm on a roll because I want to be," said Williams, who improved her win-loss record to 21-3 and took her earnings to $1,1m (£750,000) in her three successive title wins. "I've been working hard. Not only when I go home but even when I go to the tournament. I stay focused and I think it's all paid off. I'm serious about my career," Williams said.

"A lot of times tennis is so simple and a lot of times it's so complex. But so far I've been able to keep it simple in the last few months. I watched all the matches on TV. I had a lot of time just to watch people play and just to think about it in my mind. I was thinking: 'Venus, you're giving everything away and it's not that hard. All you have to do is make your shots'," she added.

Harel Levy's fairytale run at the ATP Masters Series event in Toronto came to an abrupt end when he was beaten 6-2, 6-3 by Russia's Marat Safin in the final on Sunday. The Israeli qualifier had the crowd expectant early on after he managed to break Safin in the first game of the match.

However, the Russian, seeded eight, immediately broke back and it was relatively straightforward from then on until the final game. That was when Levy played his best tennis, but he was unable to change the outcome.

After the match, Safin turned to Levy with a word of advice, saying: "The problem after a great tournament, there's a slowdown. So be careful."

Results from the $535,000 Acura Classic Sanex WTA Tour hard-court tournament:

Singles - Championship

(3) Venus Williams (US) def. (4) Monica Seles (US) 6-0, 6-7 (3), 6-3.

Doubles - Championship

(1) Lisa Raymond (US) and Rennae Stubbs (Aus) def. (2) Lindsay Davenport (US) and Anna Kournikova (Rus) 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (6).

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