After three title-less years, Serena Williams got back in the win column Sunday in Auckland as the 38-year-old beat the surprising Jessica Pegula 6-3, 6-4 in an all-American final.
“It’s pretty satisfying just to get a win in the final,” Serena said. “That was really important for me – and I just want to build on it. It’s just a step towards the next goal.”
Serena had gone 0-5 (0-9 in sets) in finals since returning to the tour following the birth of her first child, but this week dominated in her last two matches.
“It was a good match,” said Serena. “I didn’t have a lot of time to reflect on it because I went straight into doubles but I remember it being really intense, actually. I don’t think I hit a tremendous amount of aces, she was getting all my serves back. My groundstrokes were probably the strongest thing in that match. It’s good for me to win matches where I’m not getting too many free points, so I have to rely on my groundstrokes.”
Serena collects her 73rd career title, her first since winning the 2017 Australian which was also came after playing Auckland. And she has won titles in four different decades: 90s, 00s, 10s, 20s!
The 25-year-old Pegula, who upset Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals, was appearing in her third WTA final. She broke Serena immediately to go up 2-0 with break points for 3-0, but got outmatched thereafter.
Serena’s day wasn’t done just yet. She returned later to the court with Wozniacki but fell short in the doubles final losing to Asia Muhammad and Taylor Townsend.
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