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Serena edges Azarenka for Brisbane title



Brisbane, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Serena Williams picked up right where she left off in 2013, opening the new year with yet another tournament title.

Williams won 11 times last year and on Saturday claimed her first of 2014 with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Victoria Azarenka in the final of the Brisbane International.

The top-ranked American has now won 22 straight matches dating back to last year and hasn't lost since falling to Azarenka in the final of the U.S. Open tune-up in Cincinnati.

On Saturday, Williams converted the only break of serve in the first set and opened a 2-0 lead in the second. Azarenka, though, fought back by winning four straight.

Williams, however, immediately broke again and took a 6-5 lead with a break before serving it out to capture her 58th career title and second straight in Brisbane.

"I want to congratulate Vika for being a great player and a great champion, and just someone I enjoy playing against and seeing around," said Williams during the trophy presentation. "I would also like to thank the crowd here in Brisbane for always being so supportive."

Williams improved to 14-3 all-time against Azarenka, who will be trying for her third straight Australian Open crown in Melbourne later this month.

"I want to congratulate Serena on a great week and a great match today," said Azarenka during the trophy ceremony. "I always enjoy playing you and I hope to meet you again in Melbourne."

The two would meet only in the final at the Australian Open, which Williams has won five times. She was eliminated in the quarterfinals last year by American Sloane Stephens and last won the championship in 2010.

Azarenka fell to 17-15 lifetime in title matches and 1-1 in Brisbane. She won the title in 2009.

01/04 09:21:43 ET