2015 Western & Southern Open
Serena Defends Cincy Crown, Holds Off Halep
wtatennis.com: August 23, 2015 Cincinnati Ohio - World No. 1 Serena Williams completed one title defense Sunday before heading to New York City for a bid to do the same at the U.S. Open. Winning a battle of high-level play in the second-set tiebreaker, Williams defeated third-seeded Simona Halep 6-3, 7-6(5) to become the first woman to defend in Cincinnati since it became a WTA event in 2004.
Like previous matches this week, Williams fell behind early but rallied decisively. Down 3-1, she won five consecutive games to take the opening set. Williams reeled off three consecutive points midway through the second-set tiebreaker to go ahead 5-3. She held the lead the rest of the way and clinched the match four points later when Halep’s drop shot attempt did not clear the net. During the final, it was announced that the Western and Southern Open set an attendance record of 199,217 during the entire event.
"I have to say congratulations to the champion, Serena, and I wish you good luck at the US Open," the always-classy Romanian said. "I know that you can win all four - so good luck, and be strong."
Williams was just as complimentary in her speech. "Thank you Simona for playing such a good match today, and always being such an incredible opponent and incredible sportswoman," she said. "I'm always honored to play against you and always have such a wonderful match whenever we play.
"I've also got to say, I don't get support everywhere I play, but I get so much support here in Cincinnati that it makes me want to come back forever and ever, so thank you to all the fans today!"
Williams now has a WTA-leading five titles on the season, having already won the Australian Open, Miami, the French Open and Wimbledon, and she's now won 69 WTA titles in her career, which sets her apart from Evonne Goolagong as standalone fifth place for most WTA titles in the Open Era, trailing only Martina Navratilova (167), Chris Evert (154), Steffi Graf (107) and Margaret Court (92). She's also won 15 finals in a row now - her last loss in a final came right here in Cincinnati two years ago to Victoria Azarenka, and by the slimmest of margins - a 2-6, 6-2, 7-6(6) final scoreline.
Cincinnati Open Women's Singles Final
1-Serena Williams beat 3-Simona Halep 6-3 7-6(5)
Cincinnati Open Women's Singles Semifinal
1-Serena Williams beat 14-Elina Svitolina 6-4 6-3
3-Simona Halep beat Jelena Jankovic 6-1 6-2
Cincinnati Open Women's Singles Quarterfinal
1-Serena Williams beat 6-Ana Ivanovic 3-6 6-4 6-2
14-Elina Svitolina beat 7-Lucie Safarova 6-4 2-6 6-0
3-Simona Halep beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6(3) 6-2
Jelena Jankovic beat Anna Schmiedlova 6-4 6-2
Cincinnati Open Women's Singles Round of 16
1-Serena Williams beat Karin Knapp 6-0 6-2
6-Ana Ivanovic beat Sloane Stephens 2-6 6-4 6-1
14-Elina Svitolina beat Caroline Garcia 6-0 6-3
7-Lucie Safarova beat Belinda Bencic 6-2 0-0 ret.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat Victoria Azarenka 1-6 3-0 ret.
3-Simona Halep beat 15-Andrea Petkovic 4-6 6-4 6-2
Jelena Jankovic beat 8-Karolina Pliskova 6-2 3-6 7-5
Anna Schmiedlova beat Varvara Lepchenko 6-3 3-6 6-4
Cincinnati Open Women's Singles Round of 32
1-Serena Williams beat Tsvetana Pironkova 7-5 6-3
Karin Knapp beat Daria Gavrilova 6-4 6-1
Sloane Stephens beat Mona Barthel 3-6 7-6(1) 6-2
6-Ana Ivanovic beat Venus Williams w.o.
Caroline Garcia beat 4-Petra Kvitova 7-5 4-6 6-2
14-Elina Svitolina beat Eugenie Bouchard 7-6(6) 7-5
Belinda Bencic beat Flavia Pennetta 6-1 6-4
7-Lucie Safarova beat Coco Vandeweghe 6-4 7-5
Victoria Azarenka beat 5-Caroline Wozniacki 6-0 6-4
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat Yaroslava Shvedova 2-6 6-3 6-2
15-Andrea Petkovic beat Camila Giorgi 5-7 6-3 6-3
3-Simona Halep beat Kristina Mladenovic 7-5 5-7 6-4
8-Karolina Pliskova beat Timea Babos 6-4 7-5
Jelena Jankovic beat Madison Keys 7-6(4) 6-4
Anna Schmiedlova beat Irina-Camelia Begu 6-1 6-3
Varvara Lepchenko beat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 7-5 6-4