• Serena Williams is one Grand Slam title away from tying the all-time record of 24 majors won
  • The semifinals saw Victoria Azarenka defeat Williams in three sets
  • Azarenka will return to a Grand Slam final after seven years

The semifinals match in the US Open’s women’s draw saw Serena Williams fall against Victoria Azarenka in a three-set thriller, 6-1, 3-6, 3-6. The loss by Williams ends her historic run in this year’s US Open.

There is no question that Williams was one of the favorites to win this year’s tournament. In terms of the US Open, Williams recently attained the record for the most victories at Arthur Ashe Stadium as she recently surpassed the 100-win mark.

With 23 Grand Slams under her belt, she will have to wait until the next tournament where she can claim the record-tying 24th championship. Winning the next major would tie her with tennis legend Margaret Court with the most major titles in singles history. Her goals will have to pause as the loss against Azarenka has sidelined her quest for the elusive 24th title.

While these two had a classic semifinal bout, the two share similarities in life. Beyond the action on the court, the two have a link as mothers who balance their responsibilities as professional athletes. Tennis coach Sven Groeneveld pointed out that these two tennis icons hold a responsibility beyond their tour rankings.

"We can't ignore the fact that they are both young mothers and grand slam champions," Groeneveld, said by way of CNN.

It has been a unique Grand Slam experience for all the players considering the current context. Other than the effects of the global pandemic, social injustices are also rampant across the country.

"Great respect for these two women that are at the pinnacle of our sport and are leading the way and set examples, because I do feel the new generation need these examples of strong women," Groeneveld added.

The balance is difficult to manage but it's not impossible as a mother will be playing in the finals. It was an ace that delivered the winning play for Azarenka as she is through to the last match of the tournament. After a rough start, she rallied back and beat one of the best to earn her spot in the championship round.

The big win by Azarenka will propel her back to a Grand Slam final, her first in seven years. She will be facing against Naomi Osaka who has been in top form throughout the tournament.

Victoria Azarenka celebrates during her quarter-finals win against Elise Mertens at the 2020 US Open
Victoria Azarenka celebrates during her quarter-finals win against Elise Mertens at the 2020 US Open GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / MATTHEW STOCKMAN