Serena off to a flyer in 2013 with Brisbane title: Murray into men's final
January 5, 2013 -- Updated 1826 GMT (0226 HKT)
Serena Williams clearly delighted to have started 2013 by winning the Brisbane International title.
- Serena Williams claims Brisbane International title
- Straight sets demolition of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2 6-1
- Serena aiming for 16th grand slam title at Australian Open
- Defending champion Andy Murray into men's final Sunday on Gold Coast
(CNN) -- Serena Williams posted an ominous message to her rivals after starting 2013 by taking the Brisbane International title Saturday with a straight sets demolition of Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Williams needed just 50 minutes on the Pat Rafter Arena for a 6-2 6-1 victory in just 50 minutes and will go into the Australian Open Monday week as firm favorite.
She has won a staggering 35 of 36 matches since last year's French Open and after her latest victory admitted she was in prime form.
"I was looking at a lot of old matches on YouTube and I feel like right now I'm playing some of my best tennis," she told the official tournament website.
Is Serena Williams the greatest ever?
How do you beat Serena Williams?
Serena Williams: 'I'm in awe' of Venus
Williams: 'Gold is my favorite color'
"I feel like I want to do better and play better still, and I've always felt like I could play better."
Her rivals for the opening grand slam of the season will be hoping that is not the case and certainly the overpowered Pavlyuchenkova was in awe of her opponent.
"When she's on fire there's not much I can do," Pavlyuchenkova said."You have to play your best tennis every point, which is quite tough."
Third seed Williams had a free run when World No.1 Victoria Azarenka pulled out of their semifinal rather than risk a toe injury ahead of Melbourne, while second-ranked Sharapova also withdrew before the start of the tournament with a collarbone injury.
Williams, who recently had minor foot surgery, took control of the title match from 2-2 in the opener, winning seven games in a row.
Pavlyuchenkova could offer little response to nine aces and 24 winners as Williams claimed her 47th career WTA title.
"That was really good -- I think I just kind of zoned and I felt like I really wanted to do well," Williams added.
Meanwhile, defending men's champion Andy Murray reached the final of the ATP event in Brisbane as semifinal opponent Kei Nishikori of Japan pulled out injured in the second set.
The fifth seed Nishikori had led 4-1 in the opener before being troubled by a left knee injury.
Murray was leading 6-4 2-0 in 45 minutes when he called it a day.
The World No.3 will play Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria who reached his first ATP final by edging out Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-3 5-7 7-6.
"I have to say I'm very, very happy. It's definitely it's a great feeling," the 21-year-old said.
In other ATP action Saturday, France's Richard Gasquet beat Nikolay Davydenko of Russia 3-6 7-6 6-3 to win the Qatar Open title.
It was Gasquet's eighth career ATP title.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
September 11, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
September 9, 2014 -- Updated 0636 GMT (1436 HKT)
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
September 14, 2014 -- Updated 1334 GMT (2134 HKT)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.