Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka put up a good fight, but American Serena Williams was able to battle back to win her fourth U.S. Open title on Sunday at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Azarenka was just two points away from her first U.S. Open title, but Williams somehow regained her exceptional form to win the last four games and earn the three-set victory, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5. Due to rain, the match was not played on Saturday, but both players seemed to be unfazed by the schedule change.
It was the first three-set women's U.S. Open final since 1995.
In an intense showdown, Azarenka was up a break late in the final set, before Williams showed the endurance that has made her among the greatest tennis players of all time. Williams hugged the trophy after the match, likely aware how close she came to falling short of the victory.
I'm really shocked, said Williams of her comeback effort.
Williams had 13 aces and 44 winners, but also committed 45 unforced errors. She became the first 30-year-old to win the U.S. Open since Martina Navratilova in 1987.
I never, never quit. I have come back so many times in so many matches, Williams said. I wasn't too nervous.
For Azarenka, it was a loss that will likely simmer until January when she defends her Australian Open title. However, the Belarus star knew she was up for a difficult challenge against the hard-hitting Williams.
Serena deserves the win. She showed how true of a champion she is, said Azarenka, I definitely gave it all today. Stepping out of this court today, I will have no regrets.
In men's action, defending champion Novak Djokovic held off David Ferrer to advance to Monday's final to face Andy Murray. Djokovic dropped the first set but then cruised past the Spaniard, 2-6 6-1 6-4 6-2.
Djokovic will be facing a tough competitor on Monday. Murray is coming off a gold-medal effort this summer, and had only 20 unforced errors against Tomas Berdych in the semifinals.