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Martin Rogers

Serena in straight sets

Busted Racquet


It is not just a string of coincidences that makes the American a strong favorite against her Russian opponent, although there are many of them.

Williams won in 2003, 2005 and 2007 and would love the keep the symmetry going. In each of those previous title years she has had at least one match where she came from behind to win, just like against Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarter-finals.

And, in each successful year, weather conditions have forced the closure of the roof at Rod Laver Arena, just like this year.

But it's her game that makes the most compelling case for another championship Down Under.

Safina is strong and talented and capable of an upset but Williams should have too much resilience for the younger woman.

Big match nerves could also come into play. Safina struggled in her only major final last year, losing to Ana Ivanovic at the French Open and her temperament has occasionally been called into question.

Williams has proven she has the mentality to win big titles time and again. When she collects her prize check for this tournament, she will surpass Annika Sorenstam as the leading female money earner in individual sports.

YAHOO! SPORTS PREDICTION: Williams a comfortable straight sets winner.

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