AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Serena Williams ended a three-year title drought when she beat fellow American Jessica Pegula 6-3, 6-4 on January 12, 2020 to win the singles final at the ASB Classic.
The 23-time major winner donated her $43,000 winner’s check to the fundraising appeal for victims of Australian wildfires, joining many other tennis stars who have pledged money to the already months-long fire emergency.
Williams, 38, was under pressure at first against Pegula, 25, but she asserted herself as the match went on to claim her 73rd win in 98 finals, adding her name to a trophy won by her sister, Venus, in 2015.
“It feels good. It’s been a long time,” Williams said. “I think you can see the relief on my face.
The past three years have been challenging for Williams, as she has juggled the competing demands of tennis and motherhood. Williams hadn’t won a title since she became a mother to her daughter, Olympia.
Williams said winning in Auckland was “just a step towards the next goal” as she heads to Melbourne for a shot at history in the Australian Open.