STANFORD, Calif. (www.mubadalasvc.com) – Coming off an emotional three-set victory less than 15 hours before, 17-time Grand Slam champion and World No. 1 Serena Williams defeated Andrea Petkovic 7-5, 6-0 in Saturday’s semifinals at the 2014 Bank of the West Classic.
Competing in her first tournament since early singles and doubles exits at Wimbledon last month, Williams moved one step closer to capturing her third Bank of the West Classic title after earning back-to-back crowns in 2011-12. Williams is also seeking her 61st career singles crown and fourth WTA singles title of the year.
The hard-fought first set began with both players alternating games by holding serve until 5-5. Williams controlled her serve for a 6-5 lead and then finally broke Petkovic after surviving the longest game of the set. The second frame belonged to Williams, who required only 26 minutes to blank Petkovic and earn a spot in Sunday’s championship.
Williams cranked out six aces, with four of those coming in the first set. Williams’ powerful serve has been a consistent weapon all week, leading all tournament players with 25.
Meanwhile, Petkovic enjoyed a strong tournament run, reaching the semifinals in her Bank of the West Classic debut. The eighth-seeded Petkovic derailed the possibility of an all-Williams semifinal when she outlasted Venus Williams 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 on Friday afternoon.
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ABOUT THE BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC: The Bank of the West Classic is the longest-running women-only professional tennis tournament in the world and is the first stop of the Emirates Airline US Open Series. Owned and operated by IMG, the WTA Premier event features a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw with total prize money of $710,000. Held on Stanford University’s campus at Taube Family Tennis Stadium since 1997, former champions include: Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters.
ABOUT THE BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC: Founded in 1874, $68 billion-asset Bank of the West (www.bankofthewest.com), Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender, offers a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 600 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 80 countries with 190,000 employees.
ABOUT THE EMIRATES AIRLINE US OPEN SERIES: Now in its 11th season, the Emirates Airline US Open Series continues to serve as a true regular season of hard court tennis, linking eight summer tournaments to the US Open. Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams won the 2013 US Open and Emirates Airline US Open Series men’s and women’s titles, each earning a record tennis paycheck of $3.6 million. Roger Federer (2007) and Kim Clijsters (2005) also accomplished the feat of winning the Emirates Airline US Open Series and US Open singles title within the same year.