The Arthur Ashe Court at Flushing Meadows faced Sunday how Victoria Azarenka came within a shot or two of winning just her second match against Serena Williams, US Open champion for the fourth time.
Initially, Azarenka was serving for the game at 5-4 in the last set, and then she was serving to try and stay in the match with a suddenly regained her composure and her strokes Serena Williams, reports The New York Daily News. Williams came back to win the last four games and beat her rival 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.
With her won title Serena has become women’s tennis player to cross $40 million in earnings. Her fourth US Open and her third round doubles loss, Williams on-court career earnings are now estimated at $40,090,142.
“I honestly can’t believe I won. I really was preparing my runner-up speech, because I thought, ‘Man, she’s playing so great,’ ” Williams said during the trophy presentation after the 2-hour, 18-minute match, adding: “I’m really shocked.”
Azarenka’s dream of becoming the first Belarusian to win the US Open failed to come true in agonising fashion.
“It hurt deeply,” Azarenka said. “I feel proud of myself in some ways, but still sad. There is no room for mistake, no room for wrong decision. It’s so tense. You have to know what you’re doing, trust yourself. When that fear and adrenaline is coming, you have to stand tall and face it.”
The 23-year-old tennis player went on, telling reporters: “It’s tough but Serena deserves to win. She showed what a true champion she is.”
“I’m honoured to stand with such a true champion here. I definitely gave it my all today, stepping out of this court I have no regrets,” she added.
Serena’s is the fifth woman in the Open era to win the title four times in New York and now she has a 15-4 win-loss record from her 19 major finals, including five Wimbledon titles, the latest coming this year, BBC reports.
William’s victory of US Open comes 13 years after her first one in 1999 – the biggest span of success by a female singles player in the Open era.
Azarenka’s rival had to miss eight months as she had surgery on her left knee in 2003, the year she had completed “Serena Slam” by winning four consecutive major titles.
2010 wasn’t a lucky year for Williams as well, as a few days winning Wimbledon, she cut her feet on broken glass when leaving a restaurant in Germany, leading to two operations on her right foot.
After that the tennis player had clots in her lungs and was forced to inject herself with a blood thinner. Those shots resulted in a pool of blood gathering under her stomach’s skin, requiring another procedure in the hospital.
In all, she was off the tour for about 10 months, returning only last year in sport.
“She was so disgusted at home. She felt like she was useless. That’s the way it is with athletes, I guess. She couldn’t sit still,” said Williams’ mother, Oracene Price, at the time. “She was getting depressed. A lot to overcome.”