Former world number one Serena Williams surged past Marion Bartoli 7-5, 6-1 to win the WTA Stanford crown, her first title in more than a year, signalling her US Open intentions.
Williams, a 13-time Grand Slam champion who is battling to rebuild her ranking after an injury layoff of almost a year, claimed her first title since Wimbledon 2010.
“Coming back and hearing the claps when I walk out there are moments that I truly missed,” said Williams. “It’s so awesome to be back and to be a part of those moments. I don’t know if ‘star’ sounds full of myself but I’ve worked hard for that title.”
The American was twice down a break in the opening set but broke Bartoli as the French third-seed served for the set at 5-4. That launched a roll of eight straight games to the American as she pocketed the first set and took a 5-0 lead in the second.
After Bartoli held serve for 5-1, Williams served out the match after one hour and 22 minutes.
With the victory Williams avenged her fourth-round loss to Bartoli at Wimbledon and showed that even though her ranking had plummeted to 169, she could be a contender at the last Grand Slam of the year, the US Open that starts in New York on August 29.
“I haven’t thought about the US Open,” said the former world number one. “My confidence is better, which is what I was planning for. When I get there, I’m going to have the same chance as everybody else.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2011.
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