Serena Back in the Finals at the Western & Southern Open

Serena Continues Title Defense
Focused Williams keeps her eyes on the prize.

Serena Into the Finals Again at the Western & Southern Open

By Amanda Pruitt

With a straight-set victory Saturday evening, Serena Williams will have an opportunity to defend her title Sunday at the Western & Southern Open.


Top-seeded Williams defeated 14th-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-3 to advance to her third consecutive final at the Linder Family Tennis Center.


Williams needed a rally early in the match. Svitolina, a quarterfinalist last year and just 20 years old, broke Williams’ opening serve and jumped out to a 3-1 lead. The world No. 1 reeled off three games in a row and broke Svitolina’s serve a second time at 5-4 to take the first set.


Williams took a 3-1 lead in the second set and kept the lead the rest of the way, ending the match on an ace to the roar of the crowd.


She is the first woman in the open era to reach at least three finals here. She is one of just eight women in tournament history to make at least three consecutive trips to the title match.


Williams’ winning streak on U.S. hard courts is now 46 matches … She has won 65 of her last 69 matches overall … She is now 14-2 against top-20 opponents … Williams has won four titles this year (Australian Open, Miami, Rolan Garros, Wimbledon) … Svitolina was making her first semifinal appearance in Cincy after making the quarterfinals her first tourney appearance in 2014.