Serena racks up 50th win to reach Sweden final
World number one Serena Williams racked up her 50th win of the year on Saturday when she cruised past Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic to reach the Swedish Open final.
Williams showed little mercy as she swept to a 6-4, 6-0 victory to set up a clash with home player Johanna Larsson in Sunday's final.
Larsson, ranked 76th in the world, had earlier dismissed Italy's Flavia Panetta, but the world number 103 pushed her all the way before the Swede triumphed 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The 24-year-old Swedish player will be appearing in the third WTA final of her career, having already lost in Bastad in 2011 and in Portoroz the previous year.
French Open winner Williams, meanwhile, will be contesting her 69th final at the age of 31.
"I was hardly making mistakes in the first set. I have to figure out a way to continue that tennis for more than one set, and I'm definitely going to go back and watch the film," Williams said.
"In the second set she started playing a lot better. She was being more aggressive, and I started making some errors on a few key points. I think that was a turning point. I'm happy I could close it out though."
Before 2013, the most WTA main draw match wins Williams had at this point of a year was 38 (2003).
Williams, who has 52 WTA titles, beat Larsson in their only previous meeting, in Fed Cup play earlier this year.
"She has nothing to lose and everything to gain, and that's a great position to be in," Williams said.
"I remember playing her this year. She has a good serve, a good kick. I always thought she'd be good on clay. And I remember her spirit -- she was fighting really hard. I'm excited that she's in the final."