Photo by AFP via Getty Images

Serena Williams won her first tennis title in three years at the Auckland Classic on Sunday. The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion beat unseeded fellow American Jessica Pegula 6-3 6-4 to win her 73rd WTA title overall.

It is Williams' first title since she won the Australian Open while eight weeks pregnant with her daughter Olympia in 2017.

"It feels good. It's been a long time," Williams said. "I think you could see the relief on my face."

"I have been playing for so long and been through so much and I'm happy to be doing something I love," she told reporters.

The 38-year-old mother of one celebrated with her 2-year-old daughter Olympia on the court. Williams will donate her $43,000 prize money and her match-worn tennis dresses to a fund to battle bush fires in Australia.

Williams seeks to tie tennis legend Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles at the Australian Open, beginning on January 20.

Williams and her doubles partner Caroline Wozniacki were beaten 6-4 6-4 by Asia Muhammad and Taylor Townsend in the women's doubles final.

U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter.com to congratulate Williams on her big win. Trump called Williams "a great player and an even greater person."

Photo may have been deleted

Serena Williams easily won her opening round tennis match at the U.S. Open in the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, NY on Monday. She wore a black tutu designed by Virgil Abloh x Nike and a pair of Off-White x Nike tennis shoes designed exclusively for her.

Read more »