Johanna Konta holds the winner’s plate after defeating Venus Williams, left, in the final in the Bank of the West Classic on Sunday. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Johanna Konta wins her first WTA title by taking down Venus Williams

STANFORD — Johanna Konta seems to have Venus Williams’ number: She beat the former champion for the second-straight match on Sunday, when she claimed her first WTA title.

The 25-year-old from Great Britain outlasted Williams, 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 win, in the final of the Bank of the West Classic.

“It’s actually quite an incredibly humbling experience,” Konta said. “Venus Williams doesn’t need an introduction.”

Similar to their previous match in January, Konta overpowered Williams with her big serve and forehand combination.

“She served really well today,” Williams said after the match. “She plays really well against me. Maybe she comes out and doesn’t feel any pressure.”

After taking the first set, Konta broke Williams’ serve at love twice in a row to take a 4-1 lead in the second, and looked to be in total control of the match. The only problem: Venus Williams was on the other side of the net.

“I knew going into it that I was going to be playing against a magnitude of experience,” Konta said.

With the boisterous energy of the 2,268 in attendance behind her, Williams rallied for wins in four straight games, and six of seven, to force a third set.

“You’d expect nothing less from a great champion,” Konta said.

Venus started the third set the same as the first two, by holding serve for a 1-0 lead. From there, though, Konta ran away with the match, breaking Williams’ serve twice en route to winning six of the final seven games.

Knowing that the crowd was overwhelmingly hoping to see Williams win her 50th career title in the event where she debuted 22 years ago, Konta was gracious and had a great sense of humor after the match.

“I know I’m not the winner you wanted,” she told the crowd to laughs and cheers. “But thank you so much.”

With the win, Konta is projected to jump from No. 18 in the WTA Rankings to No. 14, continuing an already impressive 2016 season that has seen her rise from No. 47 at the end of 2015.

In the doubles final, UC Berkeley grad Raquel Atawo and her longtime partner Abigail Spears won their second Bank of the West title.

After one more tune up in Montreal this coming week, both Konta and Williams will be heading to Rio to represent their respective countries in the Summer Olympics.Abigail SpearsBank of the West ClassicJohanna KontaRaquel AtawoStanfordtennisUSTAVenus Williamswomen’s tennisWTA

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

Music venue owners warn ‘hospitality and entertainment are dying’

Industry leaders plead with city, state for help

Advocates call for permanent moratorium on ‘poverty tows’

Ron Trathen hates change. He recalls moving around a lot as a… Continue reading

Anti-police protester sues over arrest at 2019 Pride Parade

A protester whose arrest at San Francisco’s 2019 Pride Parade intensified pressure… Continue reading

Veritas offers to forgive unpaid rent, but tenants are wary

Calls for rent forgiveness have been answered, but with some caveats. The… Continue reading

Dozens gather for candlelight vigil to honor victims in Beirut explosion

Dozens of people gathered at Rincon Park on Thursday evening to show… Continue reading

Most Read