Serena Williams ended a three-year title drought when she beat fellow American Jessica Pegula 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday to win the singles final at the ASB Classic.
Williams hadn’t won a title since the Australian Open in January 2017, and not since she became a mother to her daughter Olympia, who was court-side to see the victory.
“It feels good. It’s been a long time,” Williams said. “I think you can see the relief on my face.
“I played an incredible opponent today in Jessica and, honestly, it was a great match and I couldn’t have played anyone better in the final.”
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, such as Ash Barty, Nick Kygrios, Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova, who have pledged money to the already months-long fire emergency there.