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She answered those questions with an exclamation point Sunday.

“Every week is a new week and all I can do is try and improve,” Williams said. “For me it’s all mental: being there, being positive and being good to myself.”

Williams has beaten the left-handed Kerber four straight times and five of six overall. All of their matches have been in straight sets.

“I gave everything I could out there,” Kerber said. “When she was down she started hitting the ball better. It’s a special thing she has. On the important points, she goes for it.”

Williams will be No. 1 for the 200th week in her career when the rankings are announced Monday. She is fifth on the career list, nine weeks behind fourth-place Martina Hingis.

“I feel like I’m just me. I don’t feel any different from anyone else on this planet,” Williams said. “To be that of as that is pretty awesome.”

Williams extended her winning streak to 13 matches in winning her third title at Stanford in four years.

“It just says how much I love to play here,” she said.

Kerber, who will rise to No. 7, was the first German to reach the final in the event since Sylvia Hanika in 1987. Bettina Bunge, in 1983, was the last German to win the tournament.

“I had a great week,” Kerber said. “I played some great matches against some good opponents. She showed she’s the best player in the world.”

Williams has not lost to a top-10 player this season. Kerber has never beaten a No. 1 player.

Williams improved to 17-2 overall in matches played at Stanford. She’s 30-5 on the season and 662-117 for her career. Williams is 61-17 in finals.

Williams has not played well at Grand Slam events this year, failing to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.

Winning the U.S. Open, she said, “would make it better but not erase anything. But I’m just focused on the next tournament.”

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