Second seed Victoria Azarenka (Profile) managed to steal a set off defending champion Serena Williams (Profile), but was unable to avenge the last year’s US Open final loss. The top ranked American thus conquered Flushing Meadows for the second time in a row and for the fifth time in career, also earning a record payout – $3.6 million.
The players exchanged breaks in the opening two games before settling into the match. Serving to keep the set alive at 5-4, Serena was only able to hold after the third deuce before breaking the Belarus athlete in the follow-up game. She served out the set with a hold to love. Azarenka found no answers for the local hero’s powerful shots and suffered an early loss of serve in the set number two as well. Serena’s five straight games run was stopped when the Belarus made it 2-1, yet she was broken again in the next game and the home crowd favorite eventually escaped to 4-1. However, Azarenka found some extra energy to peg one back immediately and prevent Serena serving out the match at 5-4. Another couple of breaks followed before the players squared off in the tie-break. After some exciting rallies the World no. 2 Belarus produced a double set point at 6-4 – her frustrated opponent saved them both, but Azarenka was now self-confident enough not to let go of the third opportunity to level the terms. She looked self-assured in the beginning of the deciding set as well, but dropped a serve after squandering a 40-15 lead at 2-1. Serena was unstoppable from then on – her movement on the court improved and the number of strong winners flying past helpless Azarenka increased. Williams converted the second championship point to wrap up the final clash in two hours and forty-five minutes of play on Arthur Ashe. She won 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-1 to lift her 17th Grand Slam title and extend her head-to-head lead against Azarenka to 14-3.
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