Serena wins fifth US Open title
Originally published on: 09/09/13 00:00
In a rematch of last year’s final, the world No.1 edged out the Belarusian 7-5 6-7(6) 6-1 to lift the title for a fifth time at Flushing Meadows.
In a thrilling final in front of a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium, the home favourite edged a tight opening set, let a double break slip away in the second before running away with the match in the decider. With 17 major victories, the American is fourth in the all-time list, just one behind Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert.
The players traded an early break, but there was nothing between them in the opening stages before Williams won a pivotal service game that lasted 10 minutes before breaking for 6-5 and serving out the set to love.
The momentum was firmly with Williams as she grabbed a double break early in the second, streaking to a 4-1 lead and seemingly on the way to the title in New York. However, Azarenka, who has beaten the 31-year-old twice on hard courts in 2013, rallied, winning five of the next seven games to take the set to a tiebreak, converting her third set point to force a decider.
The momentum may have been with Azarenka at this stage, as Williams opened the third set with a double fault, but it was the American who struck first, breaking for a 2-1 lead and she never looked back as she streaked to victory after two hours and 45 minutes.
"Vika's such a great opponent and such a great fighter, and that's why she's been able to win multiple Grand Slams," Williams said of her opponent. "So that's why the match definitely wasn't over until match point today."
"It's a tough loss, but to be in the final again and play against the best was great," Azarenka said. "We fought hard and gave all our hearts out there, and I just have to say congratulations to Serena."