STANFORD: Serena Williams overpowered Romania’s Sorana Cirstea 6-1, 6-2 in the Bank of the West Classic on Saturday to set up the first all-American WTA final on home soil in eight years.
Exactly a week after winning her fifth Wimbledon title, Williams cruised to another victory in 60 minutes. The quick work came despite Williams converting only 38 percent of her first serves. She will go for her second straight title at Stanford on Sunday against lucky loser Coco Vandeweghe, who reached her first WTA Tour final with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 victory against Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer.
The last all-American final at home on the WTA Tour came in 2004, when Lindsay Davenport topped Williams. “ Everybody’s always asking about American players,” Williams said. “Now we have a great player like Coco who’s doing well and she took her second chance to the ultimate degree.”
“I’m so glad she’s American. If she goes all the way and wins (Sunday), I would be really, really happy for her.” Still jet-lagged from traveling more than 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) and eight time zones from the All England Club, Williams delivered her most impressive performance of the week.
The 14-time Grand Slam champion slammed serves and flicked forehands on every line, never needing to move much, turning the semifinal into an Olympic practice session. After hitting 102 aces on her way to victory on Wimbledon’s grass, however, Williams had more double faults (four) than aces (three). Then again, her opponent had twice as many double faults (eight) as aces (four).
Isner, Hewitt reach Hall of Fame final
NEWPORT: Top seed and champion John Isner advanced to the final at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships by beating fellow American Ryan Harrison 7-6 (4), 6-3 on Saturday. Isner will face Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt in the title match. Hewitt defeated American Rajeev Ram 6-4, 5-7, 6-2. Isner, ranked 11th, is looking to become the first repeat champion on Newport’s grass courts since France’s Fabrice Santoro in 2008. Saturday’s matches were held after former pros Jennifer Capriati, Gustavo Kuerten and Manuel Orantes, tennis industry executive Mike Davies and wheelchair champion Randy Snow were inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Snow was honored posthumously.