Daily Dispatch: Serena Williams Wins US Open
American Serena Williams triumphed over World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, to win the US Open, earning her 15th career Major singles title.
She also defeated her US Open demons, winning her home Slam title for the first time since her controversial outbursts in 2009 and 2011.
When Williams entered the 2011 US Open final the heavy favorite against Samantha Stosur, she came out flat and lethargic, and even worse, lost her composure after receiving a point penalty on a hindrance call from the chair umpire. It felt like deja vu from her ugly outburst in 2009.
So when Azarenka stormed back in today’s match after dropping the first set 6-2, it appeared that Williams was exhibiting a true US Open mental block as she blasted balls miles off the court, giving away entire games with unforced errors. Her feet appeared to be weighted down with lead.
Azarenka even had a chance to serve for the match at 5-4 in the third set, but Williams steadied herself and produced her best tennis of the day to rattle off the next three games.
Williams‘ jubilant celebration said it all. She had earned her US Open redemption, just a year later than expected. The long wait made it even more meaningful.
Quotes of the day:
Q: “Still hoping to make a final one day depending on how the rankings go, I guess?” David Ferrer: “Okay.”
Novak Djokovic, unaware that Super Saturday has already been eliminated for 2013: “Playing back‑to‑back five sets with the top rivals, top guys, I think that’s ridiculous from the players’ perspective. I’m not so sure about this Super Saturday. I really hope that the tournament will consider changing things for next year.”
Victoria Azarenka, after the final: “For me [Serena's] the greatest player of all time. She took the game to the next level. As I said before, she makes me all the time to make sure that I’m taking my game, my personality, my physical aspect to the next level. So, you know, having few of the players like that in the women’s tour right now is something priceless, something that you cannot take away. It’s the people who, you know, like Maria, like Petra those kind of girls, they always push me to be better.”
Tomorrow, Andy Murray will have a fifth chance to win his first Slam final. It’s only fitting that he should have to do so by beating the best hard court player in the world right now, Novak Djokovic.
Murray has had a career year, reaching two consecutive Grand Slam finals, with an Olympic gold medal sandwiched between the two. Under Ivan Lendl’s tutelage, Murray has pushed himself further than ever.
The only question that remains is whether it’ll be enough to win Murray that elusive Slam title.
While Lendl today referred to Murray’s Olympic gold medal as Murray’s “first Major,” it’s not quite that simple.
It’s possible that Murray won’t beat Djokovic, but even if that’s the case, it’s time for Murray to step up and prove he can play a competitive match in a Grand Slam final.
Before this year, Murray hadn’t won a set in the three Slam finals he had played. At the fourth one in Wimbledon, he took one set before falling in four to Roger Federer. Even if Murray loses tomorrow, he must win a set or two in order to prove he can hang with the very top players on the biggest stage.
Consider this, if he fell in straights, it would be hard to be optimistic about his chances of winning a Slam the next time he reached a final.
You don’t get points for moral victories in tennis, but Murray must bring his best tomorrow, win or lose. It is long overdue.
Tweet of the day:
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 10, 2012