Williams Stays on Course for a Fourth Title in a Row after Seeing Off Helep.

Serena Williams At the Foro Italico.
Serena Williams At the Foro Italico.

Serena Williams thrashed Romanian qualifier Simona Helep 6-3, 6-0 to extend her winning run to 23 matches and book a place in the Italian Open final.

Top ranked Williams will be looking forward to winning her fourth consecutive title in Sunday’s final in Rome.

The 31- year- old world number one will be up against Victoria Azarenka after the Belarusian third- seed defeated Italy’s Sara Errani 6-0, 7-5 in the semi- final.

Williams, who last won the Rome title in 2002 (the year of her only French Open title), will then turn her attention to the French Open, which gets underway in Paris on 26th May.

“I love the clay,” Williams said. “I haven’t had many wins at Roland Garros but I do love it. I love to slide. My goal is just to win a match there this year.

Last year, Williams lost in the opening round of a major Grand Slam for the first time in her career at the French Open, falling to 111th- ranked Virginie Razzano of France.

The American achieved her career- best of 22 wins in a row by beating Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro in Friday’s quarter- finals.

The longest women’s winning streak in the Open era was established by Martina Navratilova in 1984, a record of 74 matches consecutive wins.

In the men’s semi- final, fifth- seed Rafael Nadal will face sixth- seed Thomas Berdych and Roger Federer plays 36th- ranked Benoit Paire of France.

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