After a year of doubt, Serena Williams proved that she is back and as strong as ever as the American secured her sixth U.S. Open title.
The world number one blew Caroline Wozniacki away in the final of the U.S. Open, beating the Dane 6-3 6-3. Almost as soon as Billie Jean King had officiated the coin toss, the match was never in doubt as Williams overpowered Wozniacki. The Dane, in her second grand slam final, just had no answers to Williams’ power and her serve.
At one point early in the second set the 33-year-old Williams had hit 22 winners. Wozniacki had hit just one.
The victory secured Williams’ 18th career grand slam singles title, taking her level with Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. Williams is now just four behind Steffi Graf, who holds the all time record with 22 career grand slam single titles in the open era.
Yet the thought of Serena, who won her first U.S. Open at the age of 17, adding to her 17 grand slam titles seemed slim earlier this year. She had not made the quarter finals at any grand slam this season. Her retirement from Wimbledon during a doubles match added to the sense of crisis.
But Williams is judged differently to other players. She’s still the world’s number one player and has been in imperious form during the past fortnight. Williams didn’t even drop a set during the tournament.
It was a disappointing end to the tournament for Wozniacki, who has returned to form after a difficult period in her personal life after breaking up with Rory McIlroy. But she was gracious in defeat. “You are an unbelievable champion and an inspiration on and off the court,” Wozniacki told Williams after the match. “And we’ll go for drinks later,” she added.
Serena Williams was emotional and close to tears after her victory. “It was a really wonderful feeling,” she said. “It was wonderful finish.”
The victory meant that Williams picked up a cool $4 million, but that wasn’t the highlight of the presentation. Navratilova and Evert presented Williams with an 18-carat gold Tiffany bracelet to commemorate her 18th title.