With her rhythm and timing off in the first set, and an unexplained distraction with her racket which produced a string of errors, Serena quickly found herself in a huge hole at 1-5. Angelique Kerber was sure to take the set.
But oh how quickly things can change. Especially when the world's no.1 female tennis champion is in the mix.
Even on her worst day, Williams finds a way to win. The two-time Bank of the West winner relaxed, hitting harder serves and more accurate ground strokes. Paired with a rash of errors from Kerber, Serena flipped the script for a lead at 6-5.
And then the first set tie breaker. Serena clenched it with an ace, 7-6.
Serena had found her game, and the second set went much more easily in her favor. She opened with a break and backed it up for a 2-0 lead. Williams remained in full control, displaying her trademark dominance to easily take the second set at 6-3.
At different points during the second set, Kerber seemed to grab at her lower left back, although it didn't seem to hinder her movement or shot-making. In the end, she was overcome by the power of her opponent.
After the match, Williams told ESPN's Mary Jo Fernandez, "It wasn't easy. I blinked my eyes and I was down 1-5. I just tried to relax. It's always great to have tough matches and tough opponents. Hopefully every week I can try to improve."
Sunday's win is Williams third Bank of the West title. California born, Williams enjoys playing in the state of her birth. "I'm a California girl. It's like home for me."
Serena adds yet another feather to her illustrious cap, further cementing her as a tennis legend. Perhaps Bank of the West Vice President Gena Woolley said it best during the trophy presentation. "You will certainly go down in history as the best female tennis player ever."
Currently, Williams is the leader of the Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series, with a chance to win an extra $1 million bonus should she win the U.S. Open championship, which begins at the end of August.
Kevin Don Porter is a CBS local contributor and author of the mysteries MISSING and OVER THE EDGE—both available on Amazon.com. Visit his website at www.kevindonporter.com. Friend him on Facebook and Goodreads, and follow him on Twitter: @kevindonporter.