Serena Williams repeats as US Open champion
Updated: 2013-09-09 09:28
Serena Williams of the US embraces her trophy after defeating Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in their women's singles final match at the US Open tennis championships in New York, Sept 8, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
Williams bounded in a series of joyous jumping jack leaps after Azarenka's backhand sailed long on the second match point of a thrilling, two-hour 45-minute final.
In winning the title rematch against second-seeded Azarenka, world number one Williams claimed her fifth US Open crown and 17th career grand slam singles title.
The big-hitting American, who turns 32 later this month, became the oldest US Open women's winner since tennis turned professional 45 years ago, eclipsing Australian Margaret Court, who was 31 years and 55 days when she won the title in 1973.
The triumph moved Williams to within one grand slam singles crown of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova for a tie for fourth place on the all-time list behind Court (24), Steffi Graf (22) and Helen Wills Moody (19).
It had looked like it was going to be plain sailing for Williams after she won the first set, boosted by a late break in the 11th game for a 6-5 lead and then served out a love game.
Williams, who earlier looked confounded by the gusty wind that affected service tosses and the direction of bounces off groundstrokes and was muttering to herself between points, finally settled into a rhythm in the second set.
She surged to a 4-1 lead after Azarenka double-faulted three times in the fifth and her US Open repeat looked undeniable as she had begun to find the range on her imposing service game that saw her serve broken only twice in six previous matches.