Ser­ena cap­tures 2nd straight Cincinnati ti­tle

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Ser­ena Wil­liams con­tin­ued to work her way up the list of WTA ten­nis le­gends, win­ning her 69th ca­reer ti­tle with a straight-set win over Simona Halep at the WTA Cincinnati tour­na­ment.

The world No. 1 claimed her sec­ond straight Cincinnati tro­phy and moved past Aussie leg­end Evonne Goolagong into fifth place in the all-time WTA win list in the Open Era. Martina Navratilova heads the list with 167 sin­gles crowns.

The 33-year-old Amer­i­can ral­lied past third seed Halep 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) on Sun­day for her fifth ti­tle of 2015.

“I think that play­ing Simona re­ally tested me, and I felt like I was up for the chal­lenge and up for the test,” Wil­liams said.

“I def­i­nitely feel there is room for im­prove­ment.”

Halep, who handed Wil­liams one of the worst losses of her ca­reer at the 2014 WTA Fi­nals in Sin­ga­pore, will sur­pass Maria Shara­pova as the sec­ond ranked player in the world when the new rank­ings come out Mon­day.

Wil­liams will be bid­ding for history at the U.S. Open as she at­tempts to com­plete a rare cal­en­dar-year Grand Slam in sin­gles. She came back from an early first­set deficit to take charge against Halep.

Wil­liams is look­ing for­ward to the start of the U.S. Open in eight days.

“I pre­fer to have this pres­sure than the pres­sure of not win­ning,” she said. “Not ev­ery­one can han­dle that pres­sure, but I’m OK with it. I would rather be in this po­si­tion than another one.”

Wil­liams went down an early break but re­claimed it and then some to win the open­ing set. The sec­ond was much more com­bat­ive as Halep held her own from the base­line.

But Wil­liams turned up the heat in the tiebreaker to fin­ish the job in 99 min­utes with 15 aces.

Wil­liams now stands 21-4

in Cincinnati as she moves on to New York for train­ing. The Amer­i­can has won all five of her 2015 fi­nals — three Grand Slams, a Mi­ami ti­tle and now Cincinnati.


Ser­ena Wil­liams, of the United States, fol­lows through on a re­turn to Simona Halep, of Ro­ma­nia, dur­ing the women’s fi­nal at the Western & South­ern Open ten­nis tour­na­ment in Ma­son, Ohio, Sun­day, Aug. 23.

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