Serena Williams wins first title since 2017

MICHAEL BRADLEY / AFP

Serena Williams secured her first title in three years after overcoming a sluggish start to beat Jessica Pegula at the WTA Auckland Classic.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion defeated her fellow American 6-3, 6-4.

"I played an incredible opponent today in Jessica and, honestly, it was a great match and I couldn't have played anyone better in the final," she said.

Williams also donated her US$43,000 winner's cheque to the Australian bushfire relief fund and put up a dress she wore in the first round in Auckland for auction.

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