Serena Williams rallies back to US Open - again (+video)
Serena Williams beat Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 to win her fourth U.S. Open title and 15th Grand Slam title. Serena Williams won her first major championship at age 17 at the 1999 U.S. Open.
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Williams, who turns 31 on Sept. 26, is the first 30-year-old woman to win the U.S. Open since Martina Navratilova in 1987.Skip to next paragraph
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Williams dominating the game right now. And she's been dominant, off and on, for more than a decade.
She won her very first major championship at age 17 at the 1999 U.S. Open. Winning titles 13 years apart at the same Grand Slam tournament represents the longest span of success in the professional era, which began in 1968. Navratilova (Wimbledon, 1978 and 1990) and Chris Evert (French Open, 1974 and 1986) had the longest previous spans of 12 years.
In the men's final Monday, defending champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia will face Olympic champion Andy Murray of Britain. It's the fifth consecutive year the tournament will conclude on Monday instead of the scheduled Sunday because of bad weather.
Worries about a potentially dangerous storm led the tournament to postpone Williams-Azarenka, making this the fourth time in the last five years that the U.S. Open women's final was pushed from Saturday to Sunday.
When they got started, Williams was good as can be, compiling a 16-2 advantage in winners through the first set.
She pounded big serves — she finished with 13 aces, at up to 125 mph — and big returns; smacked forehands and backhands out of Azarenka's reach; even tossed in a terrific backhand lob to break for a 2-0 lead at the outset.
Both women had issues with the officiating — though nothing compared to Williams' misadventures in the past.
In the 2009 semifinals, Williams was angered by a foot-fault call that resulted in a double-fault, setting up match point for her opponent, Kim Clijsters. Williams launched into a racket-brandishing tirade that resulted in a fine and a Grand Slam probation that made her be on her best behavior or risk being suspended. Then, while losing to Stosur in last year's final, Williams lost her cool and berated the chair umpire — "You're just unattractive inside," was among the noteworthy lines — after being docked a point for screaming during a point.
This time, there was a foot-fault call, too. It came with Williams serving at 40-love while trailing 2-0 in the second set. She didn't react at all immediately, finished off that game, then stared down the linesman as she walked to the sideline at the ensuing changeover. He chuckled a bit.
By that point, Williams had bigger problems to worry about.
She double-faulted to get broken in that set's opening game, and got broken again to fall behind 4-1 in a game that featured Azarenka sliding into a running forehand winner and nearly doing a full splits. Even Williams applauded that one.
But when the game ended, Williams slapped her racket against her changeover chair.
Azarenka also had a minor run-in with the chair umpire Sunday, complaining when a point she thought she should have won was replayed.
"You're hilarious," Azarenka said, her words and grin drenched in sarcasm.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.