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Azarenka: Serena is the greatest

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Originally published on: 10/09/12 00:00

Azarenka went within two points of beating the American in the final of the US Open, only for Williams to fight back and claim her 15th Grand Slam title. Williams won 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 after one of the best finals in US Open history. It was the first final for 17 years at Flushing Meadows that went to three sets.

“For me she's the greatest player of all time,” Azarenka said after her first appearance in the final of the year’s concluding Grand Slam event. “She took the game to the next level. All the time she makes sure that she takes my game, my personality, my physical aspect to the next level.

“Having a few players like that on the women's tour right now is something priceless, something that you cannot take away. It's the people like Maria [Sharapova], like Petra [Kvitova], those kind of girls, they always push me to be better.”

Having offered warm congratulations to Williams at the end of the match, Azarenka said: “We never had a problem with each other. I truly admire her as a person, as a tennis player. But I feel it goes beyond just a tennis player when you connect with somebody. Absolutely I admire her. They were honest feelings. I congratulated her with all my heart because I felt like she absolutely deserved the win. She was the best player out there today.”

Asked what Williams’ greatest assets were, Azarenka said: “The serve is definitely the biggest. If you look at our games, it's the biggest difference. It’s simple. Then there’s her mental side. She never gives up. She's definitely the toughest player mentally there is and she's got the power. She's a great champion.”

Having been broken when she served for the match in the deciding set, Azarenka gave her opponent the credit for turning the match around. “Serena produced some amazing tennis,” she said. “I feel like I could have done a little bit better, but there was nothing that I did absolutely wrong.”

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