No. 1-ranked Mike and Bob Bryan won the men’s doubles title for the first time since 2008 by beating Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 7-6 (8), 6-4.
Williams lives 90 minutes up I-95 from Key Biscayne and considers it her home event. She said the fans provided a boost when she fell behind.
“It was like, ‘Oh my gosh, if I can just hang in here and just try to enjoy myself,’” she said. “Honestly the crowd pulled me through. I heard some fans go, ‘Go Serena.’”
Williams has played in the tournament 14 times and also won the final in 2002-04, 2007-08 and 2013. She has celebrated so many titles she couldn’t remember the first one.
“Who was it against?” she said. “Venus?”
Actually, she lost finals to her sister Venus in 1999, and to Victoria Azarenka in 2009. She beat Jennifer Capiati for her first two Key Biscayne titles, and the others came against Elena Dementieva, Justine Henin, Jelena Jankovic and Maria Sharapova.
Li, who won the Australian Open in January, was at the top of her game for most of the first set. Even so, she couldn’t close it out.
“Only one mistake: I think I should go party last night,” Li said with a smile.
Williams committed six unforced errors in the opening game, and it took her 16 minutes to win a game. She double-faulted to fall behind 5-2, but then won 11 of the final 12 games, a surge worthy of a champion.