World number one Serena Williams beat third seed Simona Halep to win the Cincinnati Masters on Sunday for her 69th singles career title. The 33-year-old won 6-3 7-6 (7- 5) to see off Romania’s Halep, 23, who had already secured second seeding for the US Open by reaching the final. Halep broke Williams in the opening game of the match, but the Wimbledon champion fought back, winning five straight games, and took the first set. They traded breaks to take the second set to a tie break, which Williams won.
“Thanks to Simona for playing such a great match,” said the American, who took victory in one hour and nine minutes. “I don’t get great support everywhere I play, but I get so much love here I want to keep coming back.” Halep said: “It was amazing for me to play in the final.
Congratulations to the champion.” The world number three threatened early in the second set when earning three break points in the opening game, but Williams rescued each one. It was then Halep who was rescuing match points in the tie break, before Williams secured a second successive Cincinnati title. It was the 69th singles crown of her career. That moves Williams, who heads to the US Open looking for a calendar- year Grand Slam sweep, ahead of Evonne Goolagong and into fifth place in the all-time list.