Serena blasts Pavlyuchenkova for Brisbane crown

Serena Williams continued her winning ways from 2012 with another tournament title to start the new year.

Once again, she did it in dominating fashion.

Williams needed a mere 51 minutes to claim the season-opening Brisbane International with a 6-2, 6-1 rout of Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Saturday's final.

The two were practice partners during the offseason and Pavlyuchenkova stayed with Williams early, at least for the first four games.

It was 2-2 when Williams turned up her play a notch. She won the next seven games to build a comfortable 6-2, 3-0 cushion before Pavlyuchenkova finally broke the run, but the American superstar quickly shook it off and captured the final three games to finish the match.

"Today was really good," said Williams. "I kind of zoned, where I'm in a really calm place and not panicking, I'm not overthinking it and not just blasting every ball. I get really calm and kind of serene."

Williams didn't drop a set this week and wasn't pushed more than 10 games in a set. She also had an extra day to rest for the final after world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka pulled out their highly anticipated semifinal because of a toe injury.

"It was a really good week in Brisbane, for sure," added Williams. "I definitely worked hard for this week, and I'm going to do a little more work so I can be ready in eight days."

Williams will carry a 16-match winning streak into the Australian Open, which begins Jan. 14 in Melbourne. She earned her 47th career title on Saturday and has now won 52 of her last 54 matches dating back to last year.

Pavlyuchenkova fell to 3-2 all-time in WTA finals and hasn't won a tournament since 2011 in Monterrey. She also dropped to 0-4 lifetime against Williams.

"I started the match pretty well, but when she's on fire, I feel like there's not much I can do," Pavlyuchenkova lamented. "I was hoping to turn the match around, I was fighting every point to the end, but what I said about playing her was true. She's a great player."

And right now, probably the best women's player in the world, despite her rank of No. 3. Williams' 47 titles are the most for any active player.