Serena Williams got her name on the Rookwood trophy for the second time Sunday, beating Simona Halep 6-3, 7-6 (5) to claim back-to-back Cincinnati titles.
Williams heads into the US Open trying to become the first player since Steffi Graf in 1988 to pull off a calendar Grand Slam sweep.
“I’m ready,” Williams said. “I don’t care if I win or lose or break even. I’m ready to start it, get it over with and be done and go on to the next event. But I’m so ready for New York.”
Halep was the runner-up at Toronto a week earlier and was hoping to beat Williams for the second time in less than a year after upsetting her at the WTA Finals in October. Halep broke Williams’ serve to open the match but couldn’t sustain it.
Williams won four of the last six points in the tiebreaker, winning the match when Halep sliced a backhand shot into the net.
Then the talk about the Grand Slam began.
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