• US Open

Serena Williams scraps to fifth US Open title

ESPN staff
September 8, 2013
Serena Williams clutches the US Open trophy after her win © AP

Serena Williams won her fifth US Open championship and 17th grand slam title overall by beating No. 2 Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-1 in two hours 45 minutes at a windy Flushing Meadows.

Williams, who had not lost a set in her previous six matches, was bothered throughout by the blustery conditions and her service game was particular unreliable. But despite that both Williams and Azarenka played some sublime tennis, albeit in fits and starts.

After a close first set which was decided in Williams' favour by one break in the 11th game, she seemed on course for an easy win as she stormed into a 4-1 lead in the second. As the set progressed Azarenka looked increasingly out of ideas and beaten but she dug deep and took four games on the trot as nerves seemed to get the better of Williams.

Azarenka forced the tiebreak and with Williams appearing close to tears as her game fell apart, levelled.

But Williams regain her composure in the third, breaking for a 3-1 lead when Azarenka double-faulted and never looking back. When the win came Williams leapt in the air deliriously while Azarenka slumped into her chair in tears.

"Vika's such a great opponent, such a great fighter," Williams said, "and that's why she's been able to win multiple grand slams. That's why it was never over until match point."

"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," said Azarenka. "I gave it all today. We showed our hearts. We fought hard."

Williams, who turns 32 on September 26, collected a $3.6 million prize, including a $1 million bonus for producing the best results during the North American summer hard-court circuit leading up to the US Open. She also became the first woman to top $50 million in career earnings. Her $50.9 million total is $22.1 million more than sister Venus, who is second on the list at $28.8 million.

Williams celebrates grand slam No. 17 © AP

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