Sunday, July 24, 2016

Konta tops Venus for Bank of the West title

Third-seeded Johanna Konta, shown on Wednesday, beat
top-seeded Venus Williams 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 today for her first
WTA tour title. Photo by Paul Bauman
   The final of the Bank of the West Classic produced a milestone, but not for Venus Williams.
   Johanna Konta, seeded third, won her first WTA tour title with a 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 victory over the top-seeded Williams today at Stanford's Taube Family Tennis Stadium.
   Williams, 36, was seeking her 50th tour-level title in the tournament where she began her career 22 years ago. She ranks 11th in the Open Era, which began in 1968, behind 10th-place Monica Seles with 53 titles.
   Konta, 25, of Great Britain recovered after squandering a 4-1 lead (two service breaks) in the second set. She converted her third championship point on a service winner down the middle.
   The Sydney, Australia, native will improve from No. 18 in the world to a career-high No. 14 when the new rankings are released on Monday.
   Konta played in the Bank of the West Classic for the first time this year. She reached her first Grand Slam semifinal in the Australian Open in January, stunning Williams in the first round.
   Williams won the last of her seven Grand Slam singles titles at Wimbledon in 2008. She was diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome, a chronic energy-sapping disease, in 2011.
   In today's doubles final, No. 2 seeds Raquel Atawo (formerly Kops-Jones) of nearby San Jose and Abigail Spears of Colorado Springs, Colo., beat No. 3 Darija Jurak of Croatia and Anastasia Rodionova of Australia 6-3, 6-4.
   Atawo and Spears also won the title in 2013.
   Here are the complete singles and doubles draws.

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