Serena claims first title since 2010 Wimbledon
Comeback queen Serena Williams won her first tournament in more than a year when she overpowered third seed Marion Bartoli of France 7-5 6-1 in the Stanford Classic final on Sunday.sports Updated: Aug 01, 2011 09:48 IST
Comeback queen Serena Williams won her first tournament in more than a year when she overpowered third seed Marion Bartoli of France 7-5 6-1 in the Stanford Classic final on Sunday.
American Williams came from 2-4 down in the opening set and then dominated the rest of the match with booming serves and hard groundstrokes to claim her first title since Wimbledon last year.
The 13-times grand slam champion, who returned to the tour in June after taking almost a year off due to injury and illness, triumphed for the first time on home soil since her victory at the 2008 U.S Open.
After firing down a service winner to wrap up the match in one hour and 22 minutes, Williams skipped around the court in joyful celebration.
"I haven't won a tournament in forever that wasn't a grand slam so it's cool," said Williams, whose last non-major title was the 2009 WTA Championships in Doha.
"I put a lot of work into this week. I want to take this whole (hardcourt) swing serious. It's a good time for me."
Bartoli used her vicious groundstrokes to lead 4-2 in the first set but then suffered an injury to her right hand and her game deteriorated as she could not grip her racket properly for her serve and forehand.
She served for the set at 5-4 but was broken when she hit a forehand long. Williams then held and again broke the Frenchwoman to win the set when her opponent erred on a backhand.
Bartoli had beaten a rusty Williams in the fourth round of Wimbledon this year but had fully expected a much tougher challenge from the American in the Stanford Classic final.
"I knew before the match that it would be different from Wimbledon," said Bartoli, who suffered a bone bruise on her hand.
"I managed to play well until my hand was disturbed, but that doesn't take anything away from Serena who played really well."
Williams won five consecutive games to take command of the second set before ending the match with a rasping forehand crosscourt winner followed by a 113 mph service winner.
"I never lose hope in my serve," said Williams, who unleashed 11 aces in the match. "Sometimes it doesn't show up, but I keep hitting it.
"I have an opportunity to be healthy and be here that I'm so grateful," added the American, who is next scheduled to play in the WTA event in Toronto starting on Aug. 8.
Former world number one Williams, who was ranked a lowly 169th coming into this week, is projected to break into the top 80 when the new rankings are issued on Monday.
First Published: Aug 01, 2011 09:45 IST