Serena Williams on ending her title drought: ‘It feels good, it has been a long time’

Serena Williams

The long wait is over for Serena Williams as she won her first title in three years after beating Jessica Pegula in the ASB Classic final in Auckland.

Before Sunday’s trophy, the 38-year-old’s previous WTA Tour title came at the 2017 Australian Open after which she went on maternity leave.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner played in four major finals and the Rogers Cup in 2019 after her return, but came up short.

However, there were no such problems in Auckland as she beat Pegula 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 35 minutes to win her first title as a mother and 73rd overall.

Pegula broke in the first game of the match and then had several break points to go 3-0 up.

Williams, though, broke back in game six and again in game eight as she won the final five matches of the set while a single break in game three of the second set earned her the win.

“It feels good, it has been a long time,” the former world No 1 said. “I played an incredible opponent in Jessica and honestly it was a great match.

“I was definitely improving as the week went on and I needed to because I had some tough matches. I played every day and I’m playing still, I’ve got another match.

“I feel fortunate and blessed to be out here and to be healthy and to play. I have been playing for so long and been through so much and I’m happy to be doing something I love.”

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