Venus wins third straight title

Posted: Monday, August 07, 2000

CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) -- Venus Williams beat Monica Seles 6-0, 6-7 (3), 6-3 Sunday at the Acura Classic for her third straight tournament title and 15 match victory in a row.

Williams compensated for 33 unforced errors and a poor serving day by lashing 55 winners en route to her 12th career championship.

''I'm playing my best tennis,'' said Williams, who won $87,000. ''There's a lot of things that I'm not doing right, but I'm still winning.''

Her problems Sunday included 14 double faults and a first-serve percentage of only 51 percent. The second-set tiebreaker was particularly rough for Williams, who double-faulted three times, including at just 67 miles per hour on set point.

But she hasn't lost a match since bowing out of the French Open in the quarterfinals against Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario. After that setback, Williams captured Wimbledon for her first Grand Slam tournament title and won last week's Bank of the West Classic.

All that from a player who was sidelined by tendinitis in both wrists from December to May.

Williams, ranked third by the WTA, breezed through her previous three matches here, dropping only 12 games. That trend looked likely to continue as she needed only 18 minutes to win the first set against Seles.

But Seles -- who has won 47 career titles, including nine majors -- began successfully slugging it out with Williams.

Said Williams: ''I think I lost focus for part of the time.''

A trade of service breaks had the players on serve in the third set with Williams up 4-3. But Seles lost her serve in the pivotal eighth game when she sent a backhand into the net.

Williams wasted one match point in the next game, then hit a forehand winner to end the final.

She lost to Martina Hingis in last year's final here.



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