New York, Sept 10: Serena Williams got the better of Victoria Azarenka in a tightly contested final here yesterday to lift the US Open for the fourth time.
The American fourth seed broke the service of her Belarusian opponent twice to win the first set 6-2 in just 35 minutes. However, the latter started returning most of Serena's serves in the second. Thanks to two breaks, Azarenka wrapped up that set quite easily.
In the decider, she led 5-3 at one stage but Serena held her serve in the 9th game and then prevented the top seed from serving out the match in the next.
With the 11th game of the third set going to serve, the pressure was suddenly on Azarenka. Serena needed just one match point to complete her fifth straight victory over World No. 1s.
In fact, she has defeated the worlds' top ranked players as many as 15 times in her long career. Three of these wins have amazingly come in Grand Slam finals.
Azarenka said after the match that "Serena deserves to win. She showed how true a champion she is. I definitely gave it all today. Stepping off this court I will have no regrets."
The champion expressed surprise. "I honestly can't believe I won. I was preparing my runner-up speech. I'm so shocked. It's remarkable," quipped the 30-year-old who had bagged 14 Grand Slam titles before this.