Serena Williams, who was down a break at 5-3 in the third set Sunday, made an incredible rally to win the final four games of the women’s final against Victoria Azarenka Sunday to win her fourth U.S. Open 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.
Williams, the reigning Wimbledon and Olympic champion who had not even dropped a set in this final major tournament of the year heading into the match, looked like she was headed for an easy win after completely dominating the top-ranked Azarenka in the first set.
Williams had 16 winners in those first eight games as compared to just two for Azarenka. Meanwhile, of Azarenka’s 18 total points won, 11 were courtesy of unforced errors by the aggressive Williams.
The tale of the tape said as much coming into the match, of course. Williams’ has a much faster serve (top game speed of 125 MPH as compared to 107 MPH for Azarenka) and often dictates the tempo with her powerful volleys. She served up 13 aces for the match, to Azarenka’s zero, and her 44 winners dwarfed Azarenka’s 13. Conversely, her 45 unforced errors accounted for more than half of Azarenka’s 87 points for the entire contest.
After such a convincing first set though, Williams suddenly lost her way in the second and the lighter-hitting Azarenka was glad to take advantage.
Azarenka, who had lost nine of 10 career matches against the now 15-time Grand Slam champion Williams entering Sunday’s tilt, broke Williams’ serve to start the second and before she knew it, it was already 5-1 Azarenka.
The tide didn’t turn back towards Serena at the start of the final set as most of the fans in attendance had hoped, as Azarenka drew first blood, breaking Williams in the third game. Williams broke back the very next game.But at 3-3, Azarenka got a crucial break and then held serve to go up 5-3. Serving for championship though at 5-4 Azarenka, the reigning Australian Open champion, fell apart committing three unforced errors, while winning just one point as Williams broke her to tie the set at five and bring the pro-American crowd to their feet.
After a quick hold and then a championship-winning break later, Williams was jumping for joy.
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 19 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.