In Australia in January, Williams at times looked a step slow and delivered a match well below her potential to lose in the quarterfinals.
But it would be her only match lost this year as she would combine an extensive offcourt training program with precise oncourt performances
to win titles at Bangalore and Miami, before taking the Charleston, South Carolina, USA title over the weekend.
Williams' third title win in a row put her at 19-1 and moved her WTA Tour ranking from nine to six. In Charleston at the Family Circle
Cup final Sunday, Williams overcame a second set lapse to defeat the Russian Vera Zvonevera 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
Williams, a 2002 Rome and French Open winner, revealed she is looking forward the upcoming European claycourt tournaments.
"I actually prefer the European clay," Williams said. "I've won titles over there, so I was finally able to win one over here. I'm
definitely looking forward to it. I feel like I have a good chance to just do my best there. That's all I can do."
Federer, a semifinalist at the Australian Open, defeated Russian Nikolay Daveydenko Sunday at the Estoril Open in Portugal 7-6(7-5), 1-2
retired after Daveydenko was unable to finish the match due to injury. After starting the year by losing his first four tournaments,
Federer took the unlikely claycourt title with stride.
"After so many victories you are also going to lose a little bit," Federer said. "I bounced back considering the rough start to the
season wi'h my health and I'm definitely playing better. It was a difficult start to the season and hopefully from
now on it'll be easier."