Charleston: Serena Williams earned her 49th career singles title and third of the year by rallying to beat former world number one Jelena Jankovic in the final of the Family Circle Cup on Sunday.
The world No.1 Williams and former Charleston winner Jankovic got into a testy verbal exchange early in the second set after Williams accused Jankovic of trying to rush her on the service return.
After the exchange, Williams won 12 of the final 14 games.
"I am definitely happy to have another win under my belt. Excited to hold my title," said Williams, of her 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 victory on the green clay surface.
Williams successfully defended her title by claiming her third overall Charleston crown one day after routing her sister Venus in the semi-finals.
She has won 22 consecutive clay court matches at WTA Tour events and Fed Cup and 15 straight matches in Charleston. That includes titles last year and 2008.
Bad blood between the two surfaced early in the second set with Jankovic serving after having just won the first set.
Jankovic was in mid-swing on a serve when Williams stopped and held up her racquet indicating she wasn't ready to play the point. The two then verbally sparred with Williams telling Jankovic to "wait until I am ready."
"Honestly, you have a problem," Williams shouted across the net at Jankovic.
Jankovic then protested during the change over to the chair umpire telling him that Williams shouldn't get "special" treatment.
After the match, Williams insisted she, and Venus, are the most courteous players on the WTA Tour.
"I wasn't ready," said Williams. "I am the most respectful player, other than Venus. I am so respectful to my colleagues."
Unfortunately that respect doesn't always extend to line judges. At the 2009 US Open Williams once told a line judge she was going to shove a tennis ball down her throat.
Serbian Jankovic, who won this event five years ago, was aiming for her 14th career title. The ninth-seeded Jankovic had won 14 of her previous 16 matches.
Jankovic dropped to 4-6 all-time in matchups against Williams.
Williams clinched the title on her third championship point with a backhand winner to the open court that Jankovic couldn't get to.
Williams double faulted on the first championship point and then hammered a backhand into the net on the second one for a rare unforced error in the match.
Story first published on: Monday, 08 April 2013 08:15 IST