Serena Williams Claims Auckland Crown, First Title Since 2017 Australian Open
(January 12, 2020) Serena Williams ended her three-year title drought on Sunday when she defeated countrywoman Jessica Pegula 6-3, 6-4 to win the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand.
Not only was this the American’s first title since the 2017 Australian Open, but her first since becoming a mother in September 2017.
“It feels good. It’s been a long time,” Williams said during her trophy ceremony. “I think you can see the relief on my face.
“I played an incredible opponent today in Jessica and, honestly, it was a great match and I couldn’t have played anyone better in the final.”
The 38-year-old Williams has now won 73 titles in her professional tennis career – a title in each of the last four decades -90s, 2000’s, 2010’s and 2020’s.
The finalist, Pegula was in just her third WTA final. She took home her first trophy last summer in Washington, DC.
Williams had a chance to win two titles on Sunday, but she and doubles partner Caroline Wozniacki lost to Asia Muhammed and Taylor Townsend 6-4, 6-4. For Townsend and Muhammed it was their first title together as a team.
For Wozniacki, Auckland was her penultimate tournament before she calls it a career. The Dane will retire after the Australian Open.
Karolina Pliskova won her third Brisbane title with a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 win over 8th seed Madison Keys. The Czech, who was the 2nd seed, has won at least one title in each of the last eight seasons starting from 2013 and improves her record in finals to 16-12.