Serena wins 4th US Open crown; Djokovic advances to final
New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Serena Williams mounted a furious comeback in the third set to beat top seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, Sunday to bag her fourth US Open title and 15th career Grand Slam trophy.
Williams was two points away from defeat when she unleashed the comeback, winning the last four games to continue her domination of Azarenka, who was eyeing her second Grand Slam title this year after winning the Australian Open in January.
“I can’t believe I won. I thought, ‘she is playing so great’,” said Williams, whose 15th career major title now puts her just three shy of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.
The No. 4 seed Williams also duplicated her feat ten years ago when she won the US Open and Wimbledon in the same year. She also bagged the gold medal in the London Olympics earlier this year.
Williams committed 45 unforced errors but she unleashed 13 aces and had more winners, 44-13, that helped her survive Azarenka’s threat.
It was the first US Open women’s final that went three sets since Steffi Graf defeated Monica Seles in 1995.
Meanwhile, defending champion and No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia used the rain delay to regroup and get a much-needed boost to his game, prevailing over No. 4 David Ferrer of Spain, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-2, to advance to the final against Andy Murray.
“It was a huge relief to get through this match,” said Djokovic, who won for the sixth time in seven meetings against Ferrer. “He’s one of the fittest guys on tour and never gives up.”
Djokovic was trailing Ferrer, 2-5, Saturday when tournament director David Brewer suspended play for the day due to an incoming tornado.
When they returned, Ferrer picked up where he left off, finishing the first-set win after a lengthy baseline exchange against Djokovic.
Djokovic never lost heart despite losing the first set. In the second, he made the necessary adjustments to his game, limiting Ferrer to just two winners to level the match at one set apiece.
Ferrer fought Djokovic neck-and-neck in the third set, tying the count at three but was broken in the seventh game. That break was all Djokovic needed to gain momentum and grab a 2-1 set lead.
Djokovic broke the Spaniard twice in the first four games of the opening set to clinch a 4-0 lead and finished the match with a forehand volley winner on his first match points.
“I love the energy here,” said Djokovic, who has posted a remarkable 35-4 record in his last six US Open campaigns. “The crowd communicates with the players through the points, through the games, through the matches and the night sessions here are a very unique experience. I think I speak for all the players when I say we love playing here.”
Djokovic leads Murray, 8-6, in their head-to-head 8-6, but they have split their four matches against each other in 2012.
Djokovic won a marathon five-set semifinal against Murray at the Australian Open, while Murray beat Djokovic in straight sets at the London Olympics on the way to the gold medal.
“He’s obviously playing well and going to be very motivated to try and get his first Grand Slam title,” said Djokovic. “Hopefully we can play our best tennis and put on a good show for the crowd.”