The smile that says it all: Serena Williams wins U.S. Open for the FOURTH time

By Associated Press

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Finally tested, even trailing, at the U.S. Open, Serena Williams turned things around just in time.

Two points from defeat, Williams suddenly regained her composure and her strokes, coming back to beat top-ranked Victoria Azarenka  on Sunday night for her fourth championship at Flushing Meadows and 15th Grand Slam title overall.

'I honestly can't believe I won. I really was preparing my runner-up speech, because I thought, “Man, she's playing so great,” Williams said during the trophy presentation after the 2-hour, 18-minute match, adding: 'I'm really shocked.'

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All smiles: Serena Williams won the women's finals in three straight sets on Sunday

All smiles: Serena Williams won the women's finals in three straight sets on Sunday

Happy ending: Willams beat top-ranked Victoria Azarenka on Sunday night for her fourth championship at Flushing Meadows and 15th Grand Slam title overall

Happy ending: Willams beat top-ranked Victoria Azarenka on Sunday night for her fourth championship at Flushing Meadows and 15th Grand Slam title overall

Power shot: Williams hadn't dropped a set in the tournament, losing only 19 games through six matches before Sunday

Power shot: Williams hadn't dropped a set in the tournament, losing only 19 games through six matches before Sunday

The victory came as little surprise to sports analysts, however, as Williams hadn't dropped a set in the tournament, losing only 19 games through six matches before Sunday.

 

The win at the Open comes months after she had an unexpectedly quick exit from the French Open in May, which marked , the American's only first-round exit in 49 career major tournaments. Since then, she is 26-1, winning Wimbledon and the London Olympics.

Hitting the floor in joy: Williams dropped down to the court after realizing the game was over

Hitting the floor in joy: Williams dropped down to the court after realizing the game was over

Fourth time: Williams, the younger of the famous tennis sisters, has won the U.S. Open three previous times
Fourth time: Williams, the younger of the famous tennis sisters, has won the U.S. Open three previous times

Fourth time: Williams, the younger of the famous tennis sisters, has won the U.S. Open three previous times

Surprise: Williams said that she was shocked by her win since she said her opponent was playing so well

Surprise: Williams said that she was shocked by her win since she said her opponent was playing so well

There hadn't been a three-set women's final in New York since 1995, and Williams came through with a late charge to become the first woman to win Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in the same season since a decade ago, when - yes, that's right - she did it.

'Serena deserves the win. She showed how true of a champion she is,' said Azarenka. 'I definitely gave it all today. Stepping out of this court today, I will have no regrets.'

As the third set commenced, Williams' mother, Oracene Price, told her from the stands, 'Settle down.'

Form: Victoria Azarenka from Belarus made several unforced errors but she said she would not have played any differently if she were to do the match over again

Form: Victoria Azarenka from Belarus made several unforced errors but she said she would not have played any differently if she were to do the match over again

Unhappy face: Ms Azaenka was not pleased after missing a shot during the 2 hour and 18 minute game
Unhappy face: Ms Azaenka was not pleased after missing a shot during the 2 hour and 18 minute game

Unhappy face: Ms Azaenka was not pleased after missing a shot during the 2 hour and 18 minute game

Clear skies: A potentially dangerous storm led the tournament to postpone Williams-Azarenka, making this the fourth time in the last five years that the U.S. Open women's final was pushed from Saturday to Sunday

Clear skies: A potentially dangerous storm led the tournament to postpone Williams-Azarenka, making this the fourth time in the last five years that the U.S. Open women's final was pushed from Saturday to Sunday

Williams kept whatever excitement she might have felt after winning a crucial point because of an unforced error by Azarenka contained, face straight as possible, while her older sister, seven-time major champion Venus, smiled and clapped in the stands.

After the final point, Azarenka slumped in her changeover chair, a white towel covering her head, as Williams kept saying, 'Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God!' while scurrying over to share the joy with her mother and big sister.

Williams, who turns 31 on September 26, is the first 30-year-old woman to win the U.S. Open since Martina Navratilova in 1987.

Supportive sibling: Venus Williams, who has won the U.S. Open twice herself, cheered on her younger sister

Supportive sibling: Venus Williams, who has won the U.S. Open twice herself, cheered on her younger sister

Victory lap: Serena immediately ran over to her mother (seen wearing a hat) in the stands, as her sister Venus looked on from the third row (back center right) and Anna Wintour (back right) clapped

Victory lap: Serena immediately ran over to her mother (seen wearing a hat) in the stands, as her sister Venus looked on from the third row (back center right) and Anna Wintour (back right) clapped

Williams is dominating the sport right now, and she's been dominant, off and on, for more than a decade.

She won her very first major championship at age 17 at the 1999 U.S. Open. Winning titles 13 years apart at the same Grand Slam tournament represents the longest span of success in the professional era.

Worries about a potentially dangerous storm led the tournament to postpone Williams-Azarenka, making this the fourth time in the last five years that the U.S. Open women's final was pushed from Saturday to Sunday.

Both women had issues with the officiating - though nothing compared to Williams' misadventures in the past.

Famous fans: Funnyman Will Ferrell and his wife Viveca Paulin are regulars at the U.S. Open

Famous fans: Funnyman Will Ferrell and his wife Viveca Paulin are regulars at the U.S. Open

Fewer flashing lights: Vogue editor Anna Wintour tore herself away from Fashion week for the final (left) and actor Kevin Spacey (right) was also in attendance
Fewer flashing lights: Vogue editor Anna Wintour tore herself away from Fashion week for the final (left) and actor Kevin Spacey (right) was also in attendance

Fewer flashing lights: Vogue editor Anna Wintour tore herself away from Fashion week for the final (left) and actor Kevin Spacey (right) was also in attendance

Love off the court: Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton gets a kiss from her husband Marc Mezvinsky during the match

Love off the court: Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton gets a kiss from her husband Marc Mezvinsky during the match

In the 2009 semifinals, Williams was angered by a foot-fault call that resulted in a double-fault, setting up match point for her opponent, Kim Clijsters. Williams launched into a racket-brandishing tirade that resulted in a fine and a Grand Slam probation that made her be on her best behavior or risk being suspended.

Then, while losing to Stosur in last year's final, Williams lost her cool and berated the chair umpire - 'You're just unattractive inside,' was among the noteworthy lines - after being docked a point for screaming during a point.

This time, there was a foot-fault call, too. She didn't react at all immediately, finished off that game, then stared down the linesman as she walked to the sideline at the ensuing changeover. He chuckled a bit. 

 

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

She certainly earns her $$ with legit wins in singles and doubles. Unlike Sharapova who seems to count not on her game but on hopes that others aren't going to be on top of their game. I'm sure Serena isn't planning to open her own candy business either :)

Click to rate     Rating   2

To me its only a game. I see wanna-be future tennis players work themselves to a frazzle just to perfect all the ground strokes. They give up what ever social life they may have had, which is difficult to attain here in Scandinavia. Teeny boppers have so few friends they spend a good chunk of what they save just to go to rock concerts and wallow in the mud just like in UK...for what? Its really pathetic to watch. Same goes for young folks pursuing a career in any sport. They waste years of their life to chase a dream to be the next Rooney.

Click to rate     Rating   6

Name a time you heard of Serena Williams LOSING a match ... Don't worry, I'll wait. She's unstoppable!

Click to rate     Rating   11

Serena Williams' talent is simply beyond belief?! One true superstar on the tennis court! And that bronze skin of hers is so beautiful! Go Serena! congratulations on your 15th grand slam!

Click to rate     Rating   6

Serena Williams' talent is simply beyond belief?! One true superstar on the tennis court! And that bronze skin of hers is so beautiful! Go Serena! congratulations on your 15th grand slam!

Click to rate     Rating   4

@green. Easy to hide behind a computer and make nasty comments isn't it. Why don't you show us your face and let's critique you.

Click to rate     Rating   5

It was a great match. Very happy for Serena. I was lucky to see her play in person once and she is a true competitor. BUT, what is with the sound effects from Victoria Azarenka!!! My kids kept asking what that reverberating noise was after she hit every ball - so disturbing! Even more accolades to Serena to play and win with that annoying distraction!

Click to rate     Rating   9

This is truly wonderful.. Serena is the main reason why I follow tennis. I think she is a great example of women's ability to be great athletes.

Click to rate     Rating   23

I guess they have not started a ped testing program in tennis yet.....

Click to rate     Rating   25

I am not a fan of Serena's because of her disrespectful behavior on the court (same for McEnroe!), but think these ugly comments reflect more on who penned them than on her.

Click to rate     Rating   1

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