Serena Blows Lead, Recovers for 5th US Open Title
by Staff | September 8th, 2013, 9:46 pm

Battling nervous double faults, swirling windy conditions and a tenacious rival, Serena Williams in the end locked down her fifth career US Open title on Sunday night with a 7-5, 6-7(6), 6-1 victory over Victoria Azarenka in Flushing Meadows.
Up a set and 4-1, Williams served for the match twice in the second set but could not put down the Belarusian, who stormed back to force a tiebreak, then a third and deciding set.

In the third the younger Williams did not lose a game after 1-all to raise the victor’s trophy and collect $3.6 million in US Open prize money and US Open Series bonus, the largest payday in professional tennis.

The two-week payday and US Open Series bonus is more than twice the career earnings of former No. 1 Evonne Goolagong.

“I definitely felt the love today, so thank you all for the support — it’s an honor playing in New York, and I give all the love and glory to Jehovah,” Williams said on court. “Victoria’s such a great player and a great person too, and it was an honor to play against you.”

Williams tied Steffi Graf’s five US Open titles, and is now one behind the record six of Chris Evert.

It was a rematch of the three-set 2012 final, and came on the heels of a third-set tiebreak win for Azarenka this summer in Cincinnati.

“It is a tough loss,” said Azarenka, who after the handshake sat in her courtside chair and broke down in tears. “We showed our hearts, and we gave it everything we got.”

Williams has now won 17 Slams, one behind Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova on the all-time list. She became at 31 years and 348 days the oldest US Open champion since Margaret duPont in 1950.

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6 Comments for Serena Blows Lead, Recovers for 5th US Open Title

SG1 Says:

Serena showed her metal today. I wouldn’t have given her much of a chance in the third set after the 2nd set melt down. She may not be the classiest champion of them all, but right now, there’s no one better.

Darryl Thompson Says:

Truly awesome display of mental toughness when it counted (1st and 3rd sets) by Serena – I was convinced she had blown it when she lost the 2nd set (and I’m a BIG Serena fan) so to me it was incredible that FINALLY settled her nerves and produced her A-game. She showed she is human carrying the weight of expectations and seeking a 17th GS (can you imagine how heavy a weight that is to be seeking a 17th slam at 31???), and she also showed what a great player (I don’t throw the word “great” around lightly as most people do) she really is!

Giles Says:

Well done Serena!

Jo Says:

1 behind Evert & Navratilova’s 18. But 5 behind Steffi Graf’s 22.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

There were some nervous moments but not enough to mar the match. The tiebreak was amazing. In Azarenka, WIlliams has finally found an (almost!) worthy opponent with the weapons to beat her even on days she’s not beating herself.
17 Grand Slams? Who thinks she won’t put Chris and Martina in the rearview soon?
To me, Serena has benefitted from a huge dearth of opposition in the last few years, but I think she actually failed to capitalize on it with her extended sabbaticals and disinterest, until the last couple years. Early on she was still winning Slams against all time greats like Venus, Lindsay, Hingis, Capriatti and Henin.
I sure would love to see how Serena would fare against Graff, Martina or Chris, but she’s no doubt in their league as the GOATs.

hawkeye Says:

Jon Wertheim of SI’s Tennis Mailbag tweets:

Jon Wertheim ‏@jon_wertheim 18h
17. Goatess.

Hmm, doesn’t he know that Steffi has 22 majors? Doesn’t he know the universal GOAT criteria?


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