Serena Williams Retains Cincinnati’s Fabulous ‘Capodimonte Cup’
Serena Williams defeated Simona Halep in straight sets to claim the Western and Southern open title and that neo-classic cup for a second time in as many years.
The world number one needed one hour and 40 minutes to dispatch her opponent 6-3, 7-6(5) and in the process claim her fifth title of the year and 69th in her career.
Halep provided a stern test for the American, breaking in the opening exchanges. As we come to expect with Serena though, she broke back and then again at 4-3 before serving out the set 6-3.
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The second set was predictably tight. Williams fought off 0-40 in her opening service game of the set before breaking the Romanian’s serve the following game. The advantage did not last long as Halep raised her level to break straight back.
It would go the distance in the second set and a tiebreak was required to separate two of the best in the WTA. But as is so often the case, it would be Serena who stepped up in the crucial moments. The top seed would take the breaker 7-5, ending Halep’s resistance.
The Romanian can be proud of her effort, hitting 18 winners to 14 unforced errors. Unfortunately for her Williams’ ratio was just a bit better. The world number one hit 44 winners to 27 unforced errors in victory.Embed from Getty Images
Halep’s efforts were not in vein. She will climb up to number two in the world rankings and in the process seal the second seed ahead of the US Open.
“I have to say congratulations to the champion, Serena, and I wish you good luck at the US Open,” Halep Romanian said. “I know that you can win all four – so good luck, and be strong.”
“Thank you Simona for playing such a good match today, and always being such an incredible opponent and incredible sportswoman,” Serena said. “I’m always honored to play against you and always have such a wonderful match whenever we play.
“I’ve also got to say, I don’t get support everywhere I play, but I get so much support here in Cincinnati that it makes me want to come back forever and ever, so thank you to all the fans today!”
Serena’s victory is the perfect preparation for the upcoming US Open where the world number one looks to create history. Not only will she be competing for a calendar year grand slam, the American will be looking to match Steffi Graf’s record of 22 majors.
The doubles title went to the Chan sisters. The Chinese pair defeated Yaroslava Shvedova and Casey Dellacqua in the final 7-5, 6-4 to claim the title.