Serena recovers to beat Kerber

Top seed Serena Williams overcame a slow start to beat Angelique Kerber in the final of the WTA Stanford Classic in California.

The world No 1 won 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 in 81 minutes as she opened her north American hard court season with a title on home soil.

However, the 32-year-old had to fight back from 1-5 down in the opening set, after being broken in the third and fifth games.

The German also held two set points at 5-2, 40-15, before Serena battled back to take the opener into a tie-break which the American easily won after racing into a 5-0 lead.

Serena broke serve in the opening game of the second set and was never troubled thereafter - although she needed four match points in game nine to seal her third Stanford title.

It was Serena's first outing since Wimbledon and the 17-time Grand Slam winner said: "It wasn't easy.

"I blinked my eye and I was down 1-5. She was playing so well.\"

The beaten No 3 seed added: "I take away a lot of confidence from this match, knowing that I can play with the best.

"I felt I was trying and fighting, being aggressive on every point. But I know that Serena plays very good in the important moments.

\"She starts moving better, serving better, hitting the lines. That's a very special thing that she has."