Serena Williams wins Auckland Classic, ends three-year drought

Auckland, Jan 12 (AFP/APP): Serena Williams ended a three-year title drought Sunday when she overcame a sluggish start to beat outsider Jessica Pegula 6-3, 6-4 in an all-American final at the WTA Auckland Classic.

The 38-year-old and tournament top seed, in Auckland to tune-up for the Australian Open, slipped 1-3 behind in the first set against the unseeded Pegula.

But once she found her range there was never any doubt that Williams would claim her 73rd WTA title.

It is Williams first title since 2017 when she won the Australian Open, a tournament she is targeting again this year to match Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 major singles titles.

No longer angry Serena glad to be back in New Zealand