Azarenka topples Serena for Cincinnati crown
Originally published on: 18/08/13 00:00
Playing in only her second tournament after recovering from a knee injury suffered at Wimbledon, the Belarusian battled from a set down to claim a dramatic 2-6 6-2 7-6(6) victory in Ohio for her third title of the season.
In a rematch of last year’s US Open final when Williams triumphed 6-2 2-6 7-5 at Flushing Meadows, the match looked to be heading for an identical scoreline, but Azarenka held her nerve to clinch a thrilling third-set tiebreak to seal victory in two hours and 29 minutes.
“What doesn't kill you makes you stronger,” Azarenka said after claiming a second win in three meetings against Williams. “It was a tough match and we both fought really hard. It was an incredible week for me.
“I'm feeling very good. Obviously, it's a big win. It was a great match. I'm really, really pleased with the way I pulled it out. It was a great battle.”
While Azarenka leaves Cincinnati with the winner’s trophy, Williams secured the 2013 Emirates Airline US Open Series title and is in contention for a $1 million bonus if she can defend her title in New York next month.
“I have tough matches, particularly against her,” Williams said of Azarenka. “We go against each other really tough. It's a good rivalry. I'm No.1, she's No.2. So we have that rivalry which consists of meeting in the final, which makes it even more so exciting.”