Serena Williams – Two points from losing the U.S. Open Sunday night, Serena Williams called on the combination of skill and gumption that have marked her remarkable career — and there was nothing No. 1-seed Victoria Azarenka could do about it.
The 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 victory was the 15th Grand Slam title for Williams, who this year also has won Wimbledon and two Olympic gold medals.
“I was preparing my runner-up speech,” Williams said afterward. It looked that bad for her. After breezing through the first set, Williams lost it just as Azarenka found her game. She handled Williams just as easily as she had been handled in the second set and served for the championship leading the final set 5-4. After getting to 30, Williams regained her poise and came back to break Azarenka’s serve to it at 5-5. Williams handled things from there.
On championship point, Williams hit a backhand return hard at Azarenka’s backhand, drawing an error long.
Williams then fell on her back in disbelief, then jumped several times on her way to the net to shake Azarenka’s hand.
“I’m shocked,” Williams said about winning. “I thought, ‘Man, she’s playing so great,’ ”
“Serena deserves the win. She showed how true of a champion she is,” Azarenka said. “I definitely gave it all today. Stepping out of this court today, I will have no regrets.”
Williams had not been challenged until the final. She lost only 19 total games in her first six matches in New York, winning her quarterfinal over No. 12 Ana Ivanovic in less than an hour and her semifinal over No. 10 Sara Errani in an hour and four minutes. All part of a tremendous run she is putting together in reaction to her loss at the French Open in late May, the American’s only first-round exit in 49 career major tournaments. Since then, she is 26-1, winning Wimbledon and the London Olympics.
She extended her career record to 10-1 against Azarenka, ranked No. 1 in the world and the top seed at this tournament.