- Serena Williams captured title No.69 by becoming the first woman to successfully defend her title at the Western & Southern Open, defeating Simona Halep, 6-3, 7-6(5), in Sunday's final. The match should serve as the perfect springboard for Serena as she heads to the US Open, where - in case you haven't heard - she's going for the Grand Slam. After two weeks of inconsistent play, Serena capped off her US Open preparation by playing her best match of the summer hard court season. She fired 15 aces, just two double faults - she had 25 for the tournament heading into the final - and fired 44 winners to 27 unforced errors. It's the performance Serena needed to put her mind at relative ease.
- Stat of the day: Serena Williams has now won 15 consecutive finals. That's a lot of finals.
- For those who were tempted to write off Simona Halep's season after a disappointing clay and grass stretch, put your pencils down. The new World No.2 had a tough two weeks in Toronto and Cincinnati, but for her to make back-to-back finals after a four-week break after Wimbledon is an impressive feat. She should go into the US Open, where she has not progressed past the fourth round, full of confidence. We normally think of Halep as a clay court stalwart. But she's been an absolute menace on hardcourts in 2015, making the final in five of seven tournaments played. Her big reward for her two week effort: The No.2 seed in New York.
- Chan Yung-Jan and Chan Hao-Ching won their fourth WTA doubles title together after an incredible week in Cincinnati. They beat Flavia Pennetta and Sara Errani 19-17 in the match tie-break in the quarterfinals and knocked out No.1 seeds Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis 10-6 in the tie-break in the semifinals. Sunday's final was far more straightforward, as they defeated Yaroslava Shvedova and Casey Dellacqua, 7-5, 6-4, to win the title.
- Maria Sharapova will host a "Sharapova and Friends" exhibition at UCLA on December 12-13. The event features a star-studded line-up, including Andy Roddick, Kei Nishikori, Madison Keys, Laura Robson, Jack Sock, and Michael Chang. Chelsea Handler and Karlie Kloss are also confirmed. VIP packages can be purchased at www.mariasharapova.com
- What the...
- On to New York...
Interesting post-match exchange at the the net... Halep: 'Good luck at US Open' Serena: 'You too' Halep: 'You can win' Serena: 'Thanks'
? Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) August 23, 2015