US Open: Serena Williams Beats Wozniacki To Win 18th Grand Slam Title

Williams n woznaicki 1Serena Williams defeated Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets to win her sixth US Open and 18th Grand Slam title.

Williams eased past Wozniacki 6-3 6-3 to move up in the record book with her 18th grand slam title.

It was the third consecutive and sixth overall U.S. Open crown for the 32-year-old American as well as her 18 career grand slams putting her alongside Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova for fourth place on the all-time list.

After a poor start from both players, Williams steadied herself to take the first set and found something approaching her best form to dominate the second.

Failing to get beyond the last 16 of the year’s first three slams, the top seed sailed through the U.S. Open without dropping a set, finishing off Woznaicki in 75 minutes.

“It was a really wonderful feeling,” said Williams, who was joined by Navratilova and Evert for the trophy presentation, when she also collected US$4m in prize money.

“I couldn’t have finished things in a better way. It is a pleasure for me to win here, I am really emotional. I couldn’t ask to do it at a better place.”

The emotion for Williams was clear during the on-court ceremony as she struggled to hold back tears before being presented with an 18-carat gold Tiffany bracelet by Navratilova and Evert to mark her achievement.

“It means a lot to me,” she said. “I just could never have imagined that I would be mentioned with Chris Evert or with Martina Navratilova, because I was just a kid with a dream and a racket.

“Living in Compton, this never happened before. And then it was eluding me for three tournaments. That’s a lot for me. I was really excited to get it. It was definitely (weighing) on my shoulders.”

“I definitely did not think I was going to win a Slam this year,” she added. “And I even said, ‘I’m ready to start next year already. Let’s put this behind me.’

“I’m grateful to win a Grand Slam this year. It feels really good.”

There was no joy, however, for Wozniacki.

Back in a grand slam final for the first time in five years, it was another frustrating end to a promising fortnight for the 10th seed as she once again left Flushing Meadows empty-handed, a major championship just beyond her grasp.

The Dane had hoped she would be more ready for the occasion five years after her first slam final, when she lost to Kim Clijsters, but she was comprehensively second best to her close friend, Serena.

“I don’t believe that talent can beat everything,” said Wozniacki, who leaned on Williams for support after golfer, Rory McIlroy, broke off their engagement just before the French Open.

“When she’s on her game it’s not fun to play her,” said Wozniacki, whose only other grand slam finals appearance also came at Flushing Meadows in 2009. “She’s so strong. She has a good serve and she puts pressure on you straight away.

“When she needs to she can pull out that big serve. She has the power. She can push us back on the court and take the initiative.US Open

“She definitely has the experience now, as well. I think that makes it even harder, because maybe back in the day she might have made not the right choices.

“Now she knows what she needs to do out there, and it makes it even harder to beat her.”

Wozniacki insisted the pair’s friendship did not affect the match and hailed Williams’s phenomenal achievements.

“When you’re out there, we’re both competitors and we both want to win, so we’re both going to do anything possible to win the match,” said Wozniacki.

“After the match, we’re friends again. It’s tennis. It’s a game. But off the court we still care equally as much about each other.

“I think her results and her career says it all: 18 grand slam titles. You don’t get that unless you’re exceptional in what you do. She is one of the greatest of all time. To have 18 grand slam titles and still be the person she is is really something very rare.”

It has been a tough season for Williams by her sky-high standards, the American failing to make it past the fourth round at any of the first three slams.

The world No1 moved to within one of the pair at Flushing Meadows 12 months ago but faltered surprisingly three times trying to get there.

At the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, she did not make it past the fourth round, and when she was whisked away from the All England Club in June after her bizarre doubles display, a US Open title looked a long way away.

Williams has now won six US Open, five Wimbledon, five Australian Open and two French Open titles over the course of 15 years – a record span of years between winning Grand Slams.

Both Navratilova and Evert won their 18 titles over the course of 12 years, and Williams’s longevity is something that John McEnroe, a four-time US Open winner, believes makes her the best ever.

US Open: Serena Williams, Djokovic Into Semi Final

serena-williamsSerena Williams recovered from a slow start to brush aside Flavia Pennetta and power her way into the semi-finals of the US Open.

Serena found herself 3-0 down in a matter of minutes but was hugely impressive thereafter in a 6-3 6-2 victory over Italian, Pennetta.

The five time US Open champion said she “had a lot of fun” and is one of only two top-10 seeded players left in the tournament alongside 10th seed Caroline Woznaicki

“I’ve had a tough year in the majors,” added Williams. “I’ve gone down to some great players outside of the top 10 so you can never underestimate anyone. We’re all fighting really hard and we all deserve to be here.”

She then praised Pennetta, who had never beaten her in five previous meetings, for her resilience. “I felt she was playing really well, I don’t feel I was doing too much wrong (in the first three games).

“I just said to myself that if she keeps it up then she absolutely deserves the win and I just tried to do a little better. I had a lot of fun today, I really enjoyed it and I’m so happy to have won”.

Williams has not lost more than three games in any set yet, in this tournament, and will be a big favourite to beat surprise semi-finalist Ekaterina Makarova.

In other games decided at Flushing Meadows, Kei Nishikori defeated third seed Stan Wawrinka in a five-set thriller to make a Grand Slam last four for the first time.

Nishikori came through his second successive four-hour match to win 3-6 7-5 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (5-7) 6-4.

The 10th seed had beaten Milos Raonic in the fourth round in five sets in a match that finished at 2.26am local time, which is the joint latest finish in US Open history.

His victory over Wawrinka makes him the first Japanese man in the Open era to reach a Grand Slam semi-final after an epic four hours and 15 minute encounter with the Swiss Australian Open champion.

Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova also made it into her first ever Grand Slam semi-final – beating two-time finalist Victoria Azarenka 6-4 6-2.

Azarenka was not at her best in losing to 17th seed Makarova and received a warning after smashing her racquet.

Andy Murray said he was disappointed that Novak Djokovic proved physically stronger in their US Open quarter-final.

Murray lost to top seed Djokovic 7-6 (7-1) 6-7 (1-7) 6-2 6-4 over three hours and 32 minutes at Flushing Meadows.

US Open: Woznaicki Shocks Sharapova As Federer Advances

sharapovaFifth seed, Maria Sharapova suffered a shock fourth round exit at the US Open as Caroline Wozniacki stunned the Russian on a stiflingly hot day at Flushing Meadows.

Wozniacki showed she is back as a force in women’s tennis by knocking out Sharapova  6-4 2-6 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open.

The last time the Wozniacki beat Sharapova, was at Flushing Meadows at the same stage four years ago, when she was in her best.

Roared on by the majority of spectators on Arthur Ashe Stadium, the 2009 finalist looked back to her best as her superb defensive ability proved too much for Sharapova in a pulsating final set.

The Dane said that she feels good and comfortable while playing, adding that the crowd was amazing and it is just so much fun to play again on the big court.

She also said that training to run the New York Marathon in November was aiding her game, adding that she thinks it will help her a lot.

Meanwhile, Roger Federer came from behind to beat Marcel Granollers in four sets and reach the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.

The five time US Open champion lost a rain-disrupted first set but recovered to win 4-6 6-1 6-1 6-1.

In other games decided at Flushing Meadows, Gilles Simon and Spanish fourth seed, David Ferrer, sweated it out under a midday sun, the 26th seeded Frenchman posting the first big surprise in the men’s draw with a 6-3 3-6 6-1 6-3 win.

A stormy day finished off with another upset on Arthur Ashe Stadium court as 17-year-old Swiss sensation Belinda Bencic swept past ninth-seeded Serb and former world number one Jelena Jankovic 7-6 (6) 6-3.