By Alberto Amalfi
(November 17, 2010) Aravane Rezai crushed conventional wisdom that dictates you should never feed a Williams sister a steady diet of pace with a championship on the line.
Blistering the ball with conviction, the 24th-ranked Rezai reeled off five straight games to close out a surprising 6-2, 7-5 victory over fourth-seeded Venus Williams and seize her third career title at the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open in May.
Rezai opened and closed the tournament with rousing victories over former World No. 1 Grand Slam champions.
The 23-year-old French woman won eight consecutive games in conquering four-time French Open champ Justine Henin, 4-6, 7-5, 6-0 and seldom backed off the baseline in a 7-5, 6-4, victory over former World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic in the quarterfinals.
Rezai knows her way around the red clay, but how does she prepare for life on the road that is the WTA Tour?
Technological tools, cartoons and a bear almost as big as she is all help. Check out this video interview with Rezai recounting life on Tour: