Serena Williams wins first title since having her daughter three years ago

Tanya Simon
January 14, 2020

Funnily enough, a decade ago, when a then 28-year-old Serena had won her fourth Wimbledon title, a reporter had asked her if she would still be playing in a decade.

"I've been playing Australia for over 20 years and it's been really hard for me to watch all the news and everything that's been happening in Australia with all the fires and over a billion animals and people who have lost their homes", Williams said.

In addition to her charitable announcement, Williams' win on Sunday also has further cause for celebration: It marked her first title since giving birth to her daughter in 2017, who was at Sunday's match.

Serena earned $200,000 after winning the singles title by defeating fellow American Jessica Pegula. It's pretty satisfying just to get a win in the final. "You have to be your biggest cheerleader, especially if you're feeling you're not doing everything right - or even if you are doing everything right, but things aren't working out for you", she said. "It's been a long time".

For the first time in 1,079 days, Serena Williams has hoisted a championship trophy.

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However, throughout the Auckland Classic, and particularly during the finals, Williams was the veritable picture of calm and poise; even her trademark energetic entry onto the court in her final against American Jessica Pegula was a quiet one - Williams surveying the stands and looking out upon the crowds. Pegula had those five break chances in the first couple of return games, breaking Serena in the first game after a backhand error from the top seed and creating more opportunities two games later.

But Williams visibly called on herself to lift near the middle of the set, breaking to level at 3-3. The daughter of Buffalo Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula, she won her first WTA title in 2019 and appeared to be a star on the rise in all her matches in Auckland.

Now Williams is preparing for the Australian Open, which she won seven times, most recently when she was pregnant.

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