Serena wins fifth US Open, 17th Slam title

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SERENA-17THNEW YORK, September 8 – World number one Serena Williams captured her fifth US Open title and second in a row by outlasting second-ranked Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-7 (6/8), 6-1 Sunday to claim her 17th career Grand Slam crown.

The 31-year-old American became the oldest Open Era women’s winner in US Open history, 293 days older than Margaret Court when she set the prior mark in 1973, and the third-oldest Grand Slam women’s champion of the Open Era.

Williams won $3.6 million, including a $1 million bonus for her success in US open tuneup events.

She is the first top-seeded champion since Justine Henin in 2007 and the first woman to defend the US Open crown since Kim Clijsters in 2010.

Williams won a rematch of last year’s US Open final that was assured of giving Williams and Azarenka a combined total of six of the eight major titles from the past two years.

Williams improved to 13-3 in their rivalry but two-time Australian Open champion Azarenka had won two of the previous three, most recently in last month’s Cincinnati final.

“Victoria you played unbelievable,” Williams said. “What a great match and a great person. It’s an honor to play against you.

“Vika is such a great opponent and such a great fighter. That’s why she has won multiple Grand Slam titles. It was never over until match point.”

Azarenka admitted Williams was the better player.

“It’s a tough loss but being in the final against the best player, who deserves the win, it’s incredible,” Azarenka said. “I gave it everything I had. I fought hard but well deserved. Congratulations Serena.”

All-time list of Grand Slam singles winners – women

24 – Margaret Court (AUS)

22 – Steffi Graf (GER)

19 – Helen Wills-Moody (USA)

18 – Chris Evert (USA), Martina Navratilova (USA)

17 – Serena Williams (USA)

12 – Billie Jean-King (USA)

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