By Chris Oddo | Saturday, August 2, 2014
Serena Williams reeled off the final seven games of the match to reach the Stanford final for the third time, 7-5, 6-0.
Photo Source/ Jeff Chiu/ AP
Serena Williams inched closer to winning her third Bank of the West Classic title on Saturday afternoon, taking out Germany’s Andrea Petkovic, 7-5, 6-0, for her 12th consecutive win in Stanford.
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“I love playing in California,” Williams told the admiring crowd immediately after the match. “I’m a California girl.”
Williams found herself in a battle with Petkovic in the first set, as the German played inspired tennis in her bid to become the eighth player to defeat both Williams sisters at the same event (and the first since 2010). The world No. 18 saved the first five break points she faced, including four in the 12th game, but Williams would finally break through to steal the set, and for all intents and purposes the match.
Williams zeroed in from there and would not drop another game. She stuck the dagger in Petkovic’s heart in the third game of the second set when she calmly laced a backhand down-the-line winner after the German had finally earned her first break point of the match.
She would not see another.
Playing her best tennis of the tournament, Williams would cruise to the finish line, closing out her fourth victory in four career appearances against Petkovic in one hour and 17 minutes.
“I just started making my shots,” said Williams. “I started feeling her game a little better and everything just started to come together for me towards the end.” The world No. 1 struck 24 winners against 13 unforced errors, and clicked on four of 12 break points.
Williams will bid for her 13th consecutive win in Sunday’s final against either Angelique Kerber or Varvara Lepchenko.
Williams will begin her 200th non-consecutive week as the WTA’s No. 1 player on Monday, regardless of the result of the final.
The seven players who have defeated both Williams sisters at the same event in the same year are (Clijsters is the only woman to have done it twice):
Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario 1998-Sydney
Steffi Graff 1999-Sydney
Martina Hingis 2001 Australian Open
Kim Clijsters 2002 WTA Finals
Lindsay Davenport 2004 Los Angeles
Justine Henin 2007 US Open
Kim Clijsters 2009 US Open
Jelena Jankovic 2010 Rome