Top-seeded Serena Williams won her first title since the 2017 Australian Open, breaking a three-year drought. It was the 38-year-old Williams’ first tournament victory in three years, and she did not disappoint! The experienced player won with a 6-3 6-4 victory over fellow American Jessica Pegula at the Auckland Classic on Sunday. She has decided to donate her USD 43,000 winner’s prize money from the WTA Auckland Classic to the Australian bushfire relief fund. “I’ve been playing in Australia for over 20 years and it’s been really hard for me to watch all the news and everything that has been happening in Australia with all the fire and… animals and people that have lost their homes,” Serena Williams said.
Williams has also advanced to the doubles final with Caroline Wozniacki, will face the American duo of Asia Muhammad and Taylor Townsend
Why this victory is important
Williams have had a flawless win, true, but the 23 Grand Slams winner also had back to back disappointments in recent years. She is looking forward to earning that elusive 24th Grand Slam title, itching to equal Margaret Court’s record in Melbourne this month.
- Serena Williams, who was announced AP Female Athlete of the Decade Honour, is eyeing to secure that elusive 24th Grand Slam title
- At the Auckland Classic, Williams won her first title since the 2017 Australian Open, breaking a three-year drought
- She will next pair wit Caroline Wozniacki in the doubles final and play in the doubles
This victory marked her 73rd WTA title and broke a near three-year drought. She has appeared in five finals since she clinched her 23rd Grand Slam crown with a win at the Australian Open in 2017.
This was Williams’ first title since 2017 – and her first as a mother – since during the Australian Open she was pregnant
She lost two Wimbledon and two U.S. Open finals since her 6-4 6-4 victory over elder sister Venus in Melbourne. Playing her final match of 2019, the great Serena Williams was beaten by Canadian teen star Bianca Andreescu at the US Open. She’s now prepping to begin her campaign at the Australian Open which is just two weeks away.
Having donated her winner’s cheque, Williams has also signed the dress she wore in the first round in Auckland and put it up for auction to raise funds for the Australian appeal.
No doubt that Williams emerged triumphant as it was long overdue. Her husband Alexis Ohanian and two-year-old daughter Olympia cheered for her from the audience. “It feels good, it has been a long time,” Williams said. “I played an incredible opponent in Jessica and honestly it was a great match. I was definitely improving as the week went on and I needed to because I had some tough matches. I played every day and I’m playing still, I’ve got another match. I feel fortunate and blessed to be out here and to be healthy and to play. I have been playing for so long and been through so much and I’m happy to be doing something I love.”
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Picture credit: FanDuel