Serena Williams celebrates comeback title with Australian bushfire relief donation
Serena Williams celebrated winning her first tennis trophy in three years by donating the prize money to aid Australia's bushfire relief efforts.
The superstar athlete defeated Jessica Pegula 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand on Sunday January 12, marking her first title since 2017, when she became a mother to daughter Alexis Olympia.
A clearly emotional Williams was joined by her little girl on the court as she lifted her trophy, and gushed about the victory, "It feels good. It's been a long time. I've been waiting two years for this moment. I think you could see the relief on my face."
Williams, who mounted her sporting comeback in 2018, subsequently announced she was donating the $43,000 prize money to help combat the devastating bushfires Down Under.
She later posted a photo of herself posing with her new prize on Instagram, prompting her celebrity pals to offer their congratulations.
"Proud of you mama," wrote pal Ciara, while actor Colton Haynes added, "I am soooo happy for you love (sic)!!!".
Kerry Washington also wished Serena well by posting a series of clapping hands and red heart emojis.
Williams' big win comes days before she teams up with fellow tennis icons Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to compete in the Australian Open Rally for Relief charity event in Melbourne on 15 January 2020 to raise additional bushfire recovery funds ahead of the Australian Open.