By Terry Daley
ROME (Reuters) - Serena Williams won her third Italian Open title, crushing local favorite Sara Errani 6-3 6-0 in Rome on Sunday.
The world number one looked on top form against the 10th- seeded Errani, who was cheered on by a passionate home crowd but suffered a thigh injury towards the end of the first set and never recovered.
All the action was in the first set, which lasted longer than the 46-minute hammering Williams dished out to the Italian in the semi-finals of the French Open last year, when Errani won only one game.
The 27-year-old Errani, who has lost to Serena Williams, 32, in all seven of their meetings, had to leave the court after losing her serve in the eighth game of the first set to get attention for her injury.
She was clearly less mobile after that, and the American rattled off seven easy games in a row to finish the match in one hour and 11 minutes, leaving Errani tearful in defeat.
"I'm sorry for Sara because she didn't deserve it to end like this, but I'm very happy for the win," said Williams in Italian on court.
Sunday's triumph was William's 60th WTA title and she dropped only one set on her way to victory, in Saturday's powerful semi-final display against Ana Ivanovic.
Errani, who had been bidding to become the first Italian woman since Raffaella Reggi in 1985 to win the title told the crowd: “I'm sorry, you've been brilliant all week,”
“It was amazing for me to get to the final and play my best tennis thanks to you and my team, who have always been by my side," she added.
“Hopefully I'll be back next year and go one better.”
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic meet in the men's event later on Sunday, with Nadal aiming for his eighth success in the Italian capital before the French Open in a week's time.
(Reporting by Terry Daley; Editing by Clare Lovell)