Serena ends three-year title drought, gives winnings to bushfire appeal

Serena Williams misses a chance to experience ASB Classic double delight

Serena has done the match in her name by performing brilliantly.

But the 38-year-old tempered celebrations as she donated her US$43,000 winner's cheque to the Australian bush fire relief fund and described how the tragedy had affected her deeply.

After she clinched the trophy, N.Y. Times reported that Serena had spoken to media outlets.

Pegula broke Williams in the opening game and was dominant for the first half of the first set, moving Williams around to open up the court for her punishing passing shots.

"I've been playing in Australia for over 20 years, and it's been really hard for me to watch all the news".

The next challenge for Williams will be keeping the same determination at the Australian Open, where she will try again to win her 24th Grand Slam singles title and tie Margaret Court's record.

Thrilled with the fact her daughter was there on the court to share her happiness, Serena chose to donate the entire prize money to the Australian bushfire relief fund, overwhelmed by the tragedy that hit many people, homes and animals in Australia.

Though Williams won the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant, she has experienced plenty of frustration since returning to the circuit following the birth of her daughter.

"It feels good", Williams said, reports CNN. "So, I decided at the beginning of the tournament, every match I played, I'd donate a dress, and I'd also donate all my prize money for a great cause". "I think you can see the relief on my face".

The tournament top seed slipped 1-3 behind in the first set against the unseeded Pegula, a fellow American.

Adding, "You have to be your biggest cheerleader, especially if you're feeling you're not doing everything right - or even if you are doing everything right but things aren't working out for you". Williams won his first WTA title in February 1999 by defeating Amélie Mauresmo of France.

Williams eventually achieved a break of her own to level at 3-3, finding the power and precision that had deserted her until then.

She was also forced to retire from Rogers Cup final in 2019 after been hit by injury, but fought back with a final victory in 2020- her first since welcoming her daughter Olympia in 2017.

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