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.
Sunday’s match was the toughest test these two weeks for the No. 1-seeded Williams, who also beat Azarenka in three sets in last year’s final.
Williams hadn’t lost a set in her previous six matches but was bothered by the swirling air and Azarenka’s strong play. Seemingly in control in the second set, Williams was broken while serving for the match at 5-4 and 6-5.
After Azarenka took the tiebreaker, Williams chucked her racket, and it bounced onto the court.
But Williams regained control in the third set, breaking for a 3-1 lead when Azarenka double-faulted.
This is the second straight year Azarenka and Williams have played a three-setter in the final. Last year, Williams won the third set 7-5 for her fourth title at Flushing Meadows.
Williams was ahead 4-1 and two breaks in the second set but struggled with the wind that was gusting to 20 mph.
Azarenka broke twice to even the set at 5-all, then broke a third time while trailing 6-5 to send it into the tiebreaker.
Azarenka beat Williams in a third-set tiebreaker in the final last month in Cincinnati.
In men’s tennis Sunday, Leander Paes won his eighth Grand Slam men’s doubles title. He teamed with Radek Stepanek to defeat Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares 6-1, 6-3 in the final of the U.S. Open.
This is the second title for the Paes-Stepanek pairing. They also won the 2012 Australian Open.
— The Associated Press