Serena Williams defends crown at Bank of the West Classic, turns attention to Olympics

Serena Williams celebrates after defeating Coco Vandeweghe to win the Bank of the West Classic final. It was Williams' 43rd WTA Tour title.

STANFORD, Calif. —Serena Williams has spent most of her career matching – and often breaking – older sister Venus’ records. After tying Venus for the most WTA Tour titles among active players, there’s little left for her to equal.


Except Olympic gold.

Williams overcame a shaky start and two service breaks to beat Coco Vandeweghe 7-5, 6-3 Sunday for her second consecutive Bank of the West Classic title in a final tuneup before the London Olympics.

Serena and Venus won gold in doubles in 2000 and 2008 and will go for a third again this year when play begins July 28 on Wimbledon’s grass. While Venus took home gold in singles in 2000, Serena has never medaled on her own.

“It would mean a lot to me, but I can’t lay all my hopes and dreams on just that,” she said. “But it would mean a lot. I would like to try to get one.”

The fourth-ranked Williams, coming off a win at Wimbledon, never looked at her dominating best at Stanford. But she did exactly what she wanted all week: just win.

“I definitely think I survived,” she said. “I don’t think I played my greatest. But I do think I was mentally there, and that helped me out a lot.”


HALL OF FAME CHAMPIONSHIPS: In Newport, R.I., top-seeded John Isner defended his title by beating Lleyton Hewitt 7-6 (1), 6-4.

The 6-foot-9 former Georgia star was not broken in the match to earn his fourth career ATP title. He held serve in 57 of 58 games in the tourney.


ITALIACOM OPEN: In Palermo, Sicily, top-seeded Sara Errani cruised past Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-1, 6-3 to win the crown.

Errani, runner-up at the French Open this year, dropped a total of 20 games in five matches en route to reclaiming the trophy she won in 2008.


SWEDISH OPEN: In Bastad, Sweden, David Ferrer has won his second title in the event after defeating fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 6-2, 6-2.

The No. 5-ranked Ferrer was never challenged during the clay-court match, which was his 11th career victory over Almagro.


MERCEDES CUP: In Stuttgart, Germany, top-seeded Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia won his first title of the year, beating Juan Monaco 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 in a rain-delayed final.

Tipsarevic is ranked No. 8 and was the only top-10 player not to have won a tournament this year. The second-seeded Monaco was seeking his third title of the year.


CROATIA OPEN: In Umag, Croatia Marin Cilic became the first home player to win the Croatia Open in 22 years, beating Marcel Granollers 6-4, 6-2 in the final.

Cilic is the first Croat to claim the title since Goran Prpic won the inaugural event in 1990. It was Cilic’s second title of the year after winning at Queen’s Club last month.



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