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Serena Williams is in the form of her life after the world number one dismantled clay expert, Maria Sharapova, 6-1 6-4 in the Madrid Open final, much to the delight of fans who risked a tennis free bet on the American.

The result, her 50th WTA tour title in a 18-year career, not only proves why Williams is the top-ranked player on the planet right now but also justifies her status as favourite for both the French Open and Wimbledon titles later this summer.

The 31-year-old dropped just one set all tournament, bypassed clay natural Sara Errani in the semis and began her final with such force and power that Sharapova was blown away before the Russian knew what had happened.

The American was on fine form on Sunday, nailing 77% of her first serves and winning 73% of those points. She offered Sharapova just two break points all game (saving one of them) and despatched five of eight afforded to her in return.

What betting fans are most surprised about is her ability to see off an opponent like Sharapova on clay. Williams beat her WTA rival in the Miami final but that was on her much-preferred hard surface and was to be expected.

Under the Madrid sunshine Williams looked like a transformed player and betting fans should back her to win a first French Open title since 2002. If she can avoid injury – a problem that ruined her Australian Open efforts – then neither Sharapova nor Victoria Azarenka will stop her careering to success at Roland Garros.

As for Wimbledon, the recovery period may be short but Williams is well versed to winning on grass and is almost certain to make the semis. She did the summer double in 2002 and betting fans would be wise to back her to repeat that feat.

Take a punt on your favourite tennis players with the WTA Internazionali BNL d'Italia betting: Sharapova in action as top seeds tumble.
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