Serena Williams’ watch for a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam singles title continues after former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka sensationally rallied to advance to the U.S. Open girls’s last.
Caught on 23 Slam trophies since profitable the 2017 Australian Open and having misplaced 4 main finals since that final success at Melbourne Park, Williams seemed on observe to earn a 2018 U.S. Open last rematch with Naomi Osaka after blitzing Azarenka within the first set.
However two-time main champion Azarenka accomplished a memorable comeback to prevail 1-6, 6-Three, 6-Three on Thursday for her first Slam last for the reason that 2013 U.S. Open decider, which she misplaced at Flushing Meadows.
Using a 10-match profitable streak and having gained the Western & Southern Open, a nervous Azarenka didn’t appear like a participant in type to begin the match in a battle of the moms.
Showing in her first Slam semifinal in seven years, Azarenka was damaged within the opening sport following two double faults. It was an indication of issues to return in opposition to ruthless third-seeded Williams.
Dedicated to going large as she attacked Azarenka, a fast-starting Williams was unstoppable because the 38-year-old American celebrity hit 12 winners and broke 3 times — she closed out a lopsided first set on her opponent’s serve.
Two-time U.S. Open runner-up Azarenka, nonetheless, turned the match on its head in a high-octane second set below lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Unseeded Azarenka settled in after saving a break level within the first sport of the second set.
Discovering her vary and eliminating unforced errors, Azarenka dug deep because the Belarusian earned a pair of break factors, solely needing one for a Three-2 lead earlier than consolidating.
Azarenka produced an entire turnaround, reeling off 12 winners and a solitary unforced error in opposition to Williams, whose timing appeared off because the showdown went to a deciding set.
There was a worrying second within the second sport when six-time U.S. Open champion Williams hunched over and required a medical timeout, re-emerging with a closely strapped ankle.
Williams willed herself on, however Azarenka had all of the momentum, breaking for a Three-Zero benefit that she by no means relinquished.