Even a gusty wind and a gritty challenger could not stop Serena Williams from winning her fifth U.S. Open title on Sunday, Septeber 8 at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. The no.1-ranked Williams beat worthy opponent Victoria Azarenka of Belarus (7-5), (6-7), (6-1) to claim her 17th Grand Slam title, tying the record first set by Roger Federer for the men.
The thrilling match served as a repeat of last year's final, which the 31-year-old Williams had won. Despite Azarenka's strong determination to give a close fight, Williams proved overpowering en route to her 17th grand slam singles title, just one short of the records of trailblazing female tennis players Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert but still 7 titles short of Margaret Court's 24 titles.
"Vika's such a great opponent, such a great fighter and that's why she's been able to win multiple Grand Slams. That's why it was never over until match point," a gracious Williams said about Azarenka after the match. Williams fought through nerves to overcome the onslaught from Azarenka, with both ladies battling it out notwithstanding the vicious wind that was pulling up their skirts.
In the end, a backhand by Azarenka over the baseline gave Williams the win after almost three hours of tough play. The Belarusian player said of their match, "It is a tough loss, but to be in the final and play against the best player, who deserves to win today, it's incredible. I gave it all today. We showed our hearts. We fought hard."