Serena wins WTA Stanford title

World number one Serena Williams climbed out of an early hole to beat third-seeded German Angelique Kerber 7-6 (7/1), 6-3 on Sunday to win the WTA Stanford crown.

The top-seeded American, playing her first tournament since a disappointing Wimbledon campaign in which she was slowed by a virus, got her hardcourt build-up to the US Open off to a good start and will try to carry the momentum into next week’s tournament at Montreal.

Her return to fitness has come at just the right time with the US Open set to start on Aug 25.

Williams had her service broken twice in the opening set, but rallied to dominate the tiebreaker 7-1.

She claimed a 2-0 advantage in the second set and held off her German opponent the rest of the way. Williams fired six aces and did not face a break point in the final set.

Kerber was looking for her first title of the season but instead lost her fourth singles final of 2014.

“I gave everything I could out there. When she was down she started hitting the ball better. It’s a special thing she has,” Kerber said.

Serena Williams reacts after beating Angelique Kerber of Germany in the final of the Bank of the West Classic at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium on Aug 3. Photo: AFP

Kerber returns a shot to Williams during the final of the Bank of the West Classic. Photo: AFP

Williams notched her fourth title of 2014, after triumphs in Brisbane, Miami and Rome.

But the 17-time Grand Slam champion has struggled in majors this year, failing to make it past the fourth round in the Australian Open, French Open or Wimbledon. - Reuters