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Serena Williams Wins Second Western & Southern Open Title in Final Preparation for US Open

Serena Williams lifted the Rookwood trophy for the second straight year, beating three-seed Simona Halep 6-3, 7-6(5) in her final warm up tournament before the US Open.

Williams will head to New York trying to become only the second woman to complete the calendar slam, only accomplished by Steffi Graf in 1988. A win at the US Open would also draw Williams level with Graf for most career Grand Slam titles at 22.

“Yeah, I’m ready. I don’t care if I win or lose or break even,” Williams said of the US Open. “I’m ready to start it, get it over with, and be done and go on to the next event. But I’m so ready for New York.”

Halep would break Williams’ serve in the opening game and build a quick 2-0 lead before Williams would storm back and take five of the next six games, using her imposing serve and aggressive return game to overpower the Romanian.

Williams and Halep traded breaks midway through the second set before sending the set to a tie break. Down 3-2, Williams would win three straight points, getting a minibreak on Halep’s serve, to go up 5-3. Both ladies would hold serve in the tie break with Williams clinching the match when Halep’s back hand drop shot attempt did not clear the net.

Halep is heading into the US Open coming off consecutive runner up finishes in the Toronto Rogers Cup and Western & Southern Open and is 32-5 on hardcourts in 2015. With making the final in Cincinnati, Halep regains the second spot in the WTA rankings and will be the second seed at the US Open, preventing a potential rematch with Williams until the final.

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