By Bank of the West Classic Staff
After an early exit at Wimbledon, 17-time Grand Slam champion and World No. 1 Serena Williams managed to get back on track in one of her most comfortable settings.
Displaying the serve and forehand that have made her such a dominant force on tour, Williams defeated Angelique Kerber of Germany, 7-6 (1), 6-3, on Sunday afternoon in the championship match of the 2014 Bank of the West Classic at Taube Family Tennis Stadium in Stanford, Calif.
Making her Bank of the West Classic main draw debut, Kerber was bidding to become the first lefthander to claim the tournament title since Martina Navratilova in 1993 (Oakland). Kerber raced out to a 5-1 advantage and was serving for the first set at 5-2, but Williams saved two set points and proceeded to win five consecutive games. Tied at 6-6, Williams took a 5-0 lead in the tiebreak and never looked back.
The result was similar to Williams’ semifinal victory against Andrea Petkovic of Germany on Saturday, in which the top-seeded Williams had to overcome a difficult first set before cruising to a 6-0 victory the second.
Capturing her WTA-leading fourth title of the year, Williams claimed her third Bank of the West Classic title in four years, after winning back-to-back crowns in 2011-12. Williams, who collected her 61st career WTA singles title, extended her winning streak at the tournament to 13 consecutive matches.
Williams, who is set to spend her 200th non-consecutive week at the No. 1 spot in the rankings, improved to 5-1 all-time against Kerber, who was seeking her first title of 2014 after three-runner up finishes.
Both Williams and Kerber will now head to Canada to compete at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, the next stop in the Emirates Airline US Open Series. They have both received a bye in the first round.