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Williams still rolling, wins Acura Classic

Venus tops Seles to win third straight tourney

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CARLSBAD, Calif. — Venus Williams beat Monica Seles 6-0, 6-7 (3), 6-3 Sunday at the Acura Classic for her third straight tournament title and 15 match victory in a row.

Williams compensated for 33 unforced errors and a poor serving day by lashing 55 winners en route to her 12th career championship.

"I'm playing my best tennis," said Williams, who won $87,000. "There's a lot of things that I'm not doing right, but I'm still winning."

Her problems Sunday included 14 double faults and a first-serve percentage of only 51 percent. The second-set tiebreaker was particularly rough for Williams, who double-faulted three times, including at just 67 miles per hour on set point.

But she hasn't lost a match since bowing out of the French Open in the quarterfinals against Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario. After that setback, Williams captured Wimbledon for her first Grand Slam tournament title and won last week's Bank of the West Classic.

All that from a player who was sidelined by tendinitis in both wrists from December to May.

Williams, ranked third by the WTA, breezed through her previ-

ous three matches here, dropping only 12 games. That trend looked likely to continue as she needed only 18 minutes to win the first set against Seles.

But Seles — who has won 47 career titles, including nine majors — began successfully slugging it out with Williams.

Said Williams: "I think I lost focus for part of the time."

A trade of service breaks had the players on serve in the third set with Williams up 4-3. But Seles lost her serve in the pivotal eighth game when she sent a backhand into the net.

Williams wasted one match point in the next game, then hit a forehand winner to end the final.

She lost to Martina Hingis in last year's final here.