STANFORD, California – Top seed Serena Williams overcame a week fighting jet-lag to beat fellow American Coco Vandeweghe 7-5, 6-3 to retain the Stanford Classic title Sunday.
Just eight days after winning her fifth Wimbledon single title, Williams fought off a set point in the first set before overcoming big-serving Vandeweghe, who had reached her first WTA final.
The 30-year-old Williams used her experience and know-how to race past the 20-year-old, nailing 21 winners. Vandeweghe struck 20 winners but also committed 25 unforced errors.
Williams, who had been contending with jet lag much of the week after travelling from London to California, was satisfied with the title run.
“I played well enough to win, but I can do a lot better and play stronger,” she said. “But there are a lot of positives and I was fighting and I didn’t quit.
“I survived and didn’t play my greatest, but mentally I was there and that really helped me a lot.”
Isner aces out Hewitt
In Newport, John Isner fired 16 aces in a 7-6 (7/1), 6-4 victory over Australian Lleyton Hewitt on Sunday to win the ATP Hall of Fame Championships title for the second-straight year.
“It’s huge for me,” the top-seeded American said.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever defended a title. I’m very happy to come through today against a great opponent – in my opinion one of the greatest ever. It’s a big win for me.”
Hewitt, who received a wild card into the draw, was playing in his first final since June 2010, when he captured his 28th career title on the grass courts at Halle.
The two-time Grand Slam champion and former world No. 1 from Australia has battled a string of injuries in recent years and underwent radical foot surgery in February.
Isner’s triumph ended Hewitt’s unbeaten career run in grass court finals, putting his record at 7-1. But with his run to the championship match, Hewitt is projected to rise from his current 233rd in the world to about 151 in the world rankings.
Yet another record for Federer
Roger Federer added another record to his collection Monday when he began his 287th week as world No. 1.
The 17-time grand slam winner returned to the pinnacle of the rankings after a two-year absence by beating Britain’s Andy Murray in the Wimbledon final last week.
It was the 30-year-old Swiss’s seventh title at the All England Club and ensured he would equal and then pass Pete Sampras’s record of 286 weeks at the top of the rankings.
“I am extremely proud and honoured to have beaten Pete’s record as he was my childhood hero and I have always looked up to him,” said Federer, who first topped the rankings in February 2004.
“I had set a goal with my team to try and get back to the top of the rankings, but I never thought with the depth in the game this year that I would have been able to get it back so quickly.”
Sampras won 14 grand slam titles in a 14-year tour career.
“The hardest thing to do in sports is the ability to stay on top,” the American said. “Roger has been able to do so by great play and durability.”
In Gstaad, Bernard Tomic of Australia was the first seeded player to be eliminated at the Swiss Open Monday, losing 6-0, 6-4 to Benoit Paire of France in the first round.
The 47th-ranked Paire swept the first set despite landing only three first serves against the 45th-ranked Tomic, who was seeded eighth after getting a wild-card entry to the clay-court tournament.
Paul-Henri Mathieu was another Frenchman who had to overcome serving problems to win 6-3, 7-6 (4) against Igor Andreev of Russia. Mathieu, a former top-20 player, double-faulted 10 times but saved all seven break points he faced.
Jan Hernych of the Czech Republic beat Matteo Viola of Italy 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, while Martin Fischer of Austria ousted Sandro Ehrat of Switzerland 6-2, 6-4. — Agencies