Former No. 1 Venus Williams ended the week much as she experienced the bulk of it at the Mexican Open in Acapulco, needing three sets to defeat an opponent ranked outside the Top 50, topping Polana Hercog 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.
In the quarterfinals Williams defeated Spain’s No. 399-ranked Laura Pios Tio in three sets, and in the semis she beat No. 164-ranked Edina Gallovits in three. Hercog is ranked No. 60.
It was the second consecutive title for Williams after winning last week in Dubai, with the elder Williams sister successfully defending her Acapulco title from 2009.
“I played such a good opponent,” Williams said. “In the first set she did not miss one shot and I had to find a way to get into the match.”
The 19-year-old Hercog was appearing in her first WTA final.
“I would love to come next year,” Williams said. “I have to make it three, a hat trick. I think I can do it. It’s not an easy tournament to win, as you can see this year.”
Williams will now take a three-week break from the tour as she is not in the draw at Monterrey, Mexico this week, and annually skips the two-week Indian Wells event since 2001 when her sister and father branded the event and California fans racists after they booed the sisters when Venus defaulted five minutes prior to a scheduled semifinal match against Serena, and booed Serena in the final. The sisters’ father, Richard, says he heard racists comments during the final.
“The elliptical way in which this was communicated by the sisters, coupled with the cryptic comments made by their father Richard, suggested the default was triggered by something other than a legitimate injury,” recalled tennis writer Joel Drucker, writing for ESPN. “Two days later, when Serena took the court to play the finals, an angry crowd booed her. Serena and Venus haven’t been seen at Indian Wells since.”
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