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CrazyFruits » WORLD NEWS AND SPORTS FROM SKY » Serena Williams beats Azarenka for 17th Slam

Serena Williams beats Azarenka for 17th Slam

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Serena Williams holds up the championship trophy after defeating Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the women's singles final of the 2013 US Open tennis tournament in New York, yesterday. Williams won 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-1. - AP

NEW YORK (AP):
Top-seeded Serena Williams won her fifth U.S. Open championship and 17th Grand Slam title overall by beating No. 2 Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-1 in a windy final.
Williams, who turns 32 on September 26, has now won the sixth-most Grand Slam titles in history and one less than Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. Williams 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.
Helped by nine aces, one at 126 mph (203 kph), Williams improved to 67-4 with a career-best nine titles in 2013. Since a first-round exit at the 2012 French Open, Williams is 98-5 with 14 titles, winning four of the past six Grand Slam tournaments.
"Vika's such a great opponent, such a great fighter," Williams said of Azarenka, "and that's why she's been able to win multiple Grand Slams. That's why it was never over until match point."
This one did not come easily, even though it appeared to be nearly over when Williams went ahead by two breaks at 4-1 in the second set. Williams served for the match at 5-4 and 6-5 - only to have the gutsy Azarenka break each time.
This was a rematch of last year's final - also won by Williams in three sets - and two-time Australian Open champion Azarenka provided another challenge with her big swings.
"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, who is from Belarus. "I gave it all today. We showed our hearts. We fought hard."
FOOT FAULT
Four times, Azarenka was only two points from taking the opening set. At one such moment, with Williams serving at deuce after a double fault, she was called for a foot fault, erasing what would have been a 121 mph (195 kph) ace.
There was another foot-fault call in the second set, too. They brought back memories of the American's loss to Kim Clijsters in the 2009 semi-finals, when Williams was docked a point, and later fined, for a tirade against a line judge over a foot-fault call.
There was no such outburst directed at officials this time, although there was a racket toss. After the call in the match's 10th game, Williams simply put a hand to her face, composed herself, and won the point with a down-the-line backhand, she celebrated with a fist pump, some foot stomping and a yell of "Come on!"
Williams put aside her issues to finish with a 36-17 edge in winners.
She equalled Steffi Graf with five US Open titles, one behind Evert's record of six in the Open era, which began in 1968. Williams never had won two consecutive US Opens, but now she has, adding to the trophies she earned in New York in 1999 - at age 17 - then 2002 and 2008.
Those go alongside five from Wimbledon, five from the Australian Open and two from the French Open, which she won this year.
Williams also became the first woman to surpass $9 million in prize money in a single season, while topping $50 million for her career.

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