Over history Serena Williams in a final majority of the time meant adding to her trophy collection. Of late it has been a different story, if anything it has been a bit of a mental block for her since the 2018 US Open final as she hunted for her first title as a mum!
Serena who has been swinging so accurately and freely all week was suddenly super tense. You could sense in her body language the nerves were there. She wasn’t moving much at all and this was resulting in unforced errors (finishing the opening set with 20).
She didn’t start the opening set well going down an immediate break in some long games to open up the evening in Auckland.
With Jessica Pegula serving up a break at 2-1 the former world number one turned on her style winning five of the next six games and really started to find her rhythm taking the set quite quickly 6-3.
The second set was pure strike mode from Serena. In both of Pegula’s first two service games Serena got to 0-40. On the first occasion Pegula recovered but on the second a backhand wide put Serena firmly in the driving seat to her first title since the Australian Open in 2017.
A bit of parity came on serve for Pegula but at this stage Serena was in an unstoppable mood at 6-3 4-2 a couple of games away from her 73rd singles title but her 101st career title.
With Jessica Pegula serving to stay in the match three match points came for Serena bu all were saved and at 6-3 5-4 the 38 year old would serve for the title.
Any nerves? Not a chance! A perfect game as Serena strolled to victory. After the victory she looked up and said ‘finally’. It’s been a long time coming but Serena Williams is back in the WTA winners circle!
Back in 2010 at Wimbledon the American said:
“There is no way I need to be out here at 38”
Here she is, winning titles still. No. 101 in the bag, No. 102 could follow very soon!