Serena Williams captures 1st title in comeback

By ANTONIO GONZALEZ | July 31, 2011 | 4:59 PM EDT

Serena Williams, of the United States, hits a forehand to Marion Bartoli, of France, during the final of the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament Sunday, July 31, 2011, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/George Nikitin)

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Serena Williams has captured her first tournament title since returning to tennis, beating Marion Bartoli 7-5, 6-1 to win the Bank of the West Classic on Sunday.

The 13-time major champion overcame two breaks in the first set to rally for a dominating finish. She went ahead 5-0 in the second set and never relented.

The victory was even sweeter because the ninth-ranked Bartoli beat the former world No. 1 in straight sets in the fourth round at Wimbledon this year. The finals appearance also was the first for Williams since winning at the All England Club in 2010 and her best showing since missing nearly a year because of blood clots in her lungs and two foot operations.