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 Beats Kaia Kanepi To Reach Quarter Finals

serena-williamsDefending Champion, Serena Williams eased into the last eight of the US Open after defeating Kaia Kanepi.

Serena won her 18th straight match in New York and reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal of 2014 with a 6-3, 6-3 win  over Estonian slugger Kaia Kanepi in 64 minutes at Ashe Stadium.

The five time champion is on course to become only the second woman to win three consecutive US Open titles since the Open Era began in 1968 and is now 4-0 lifetime against Kanepi since their first meeting in 2009.

“She hits the ball incredibly hard and moves the ball around,” the world No 1 said afterwards to the crowd watching on in Arthur Ashe Stadium. “I just keep fighting.”

“I finally made a quarter-final this year! Glad to do it in New York.”

Williams’ quarterfinal opponent will be 11th-seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta, who opened Monday with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over 29th-seeded Aussie Casey Dellacqua on the hardcourts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

The Italian has lost all five previous matches against Williams but will head into the clash with a positive attitude.

She said: “You just have to play your tennis and do your best. Of course, she’s better than me, but if I believe I can beat her, maybe if she doesn’t have a good day I can do that.

“If I get on the court and just play and try not to lose 6-0 6-0, I’m going to lose 6-0 6-0.”

32 year old, Pennetta played her best Grand Slam in New York, where she reached the quarterfinals now on five occasions, including a surprising run into the semifinals a year ago.

 

 

US Open: Federer, Sharapova Cruise Into Next Round

US OpenFormer champions, Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova, enjoyed straight sets wins at the US Open on a day that brought some notable exits.

Federer beat Australia’s Sam Groth 6-4 6-4 6-4 to reach the third round and will play Spain’s Marcel Granollers next.

Fifth seed, Sharapova also progressed, reaching the fourth round with a 6-2 6-4 win over Sabine Lisicki and will meet Caroline Wozniacki in a tasty fourth-round clash.

Two-time champion, Venus Williams and second seed Simona Halep were, however, knocked out of the US Open in their third round matches.

Venus lost 6-0 0-6 7-6 (7-5) to Italy’s Sara Errani.

Having twice come back from being down a break in the third set, Williams had a chance to serve out the match, but Errani, who had not won more than three games in a set against Williams in three previous meetings, showed great fighting spirit to force a tie-break.

Williams was, however, undone by too many unforced errors as she had 52 in all.

Thus, the Italian would play Mirjana Lucic-Baroni next, after the Croatian qualifier beat Romania’s Halep 7-6 (8-6) 6-2.

Sixth seed, Angelique Kerber, was also a major casualty as she was beaten 6-1 7-5 by Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic .

Meanwhile, Andy Murray must return to his least favourite court in grand slam tennis for his third-round match against Andrey Kuznetsov at the US Open on Saturday.

Murray, who is seeded eighth, will again take to the second show court during the afternoon heat, having suffered cramp in the same circumstances in his opening game at the Louis Armstrong Stadium.

While Arthur Ashe Stadium, where he impressively dispatched Matthias Bachinger in round two, ranks second only to Centre Court in the Scot’s affection, Louis Armstrong has been a place of unremitting struggle.

It was on Armstrong, on Monday, where Murray was hit by a severe bout of cramp during his match against Robin Haase that could easily have led to defeat.

A 2010 defeat by Stan Wawrinka not withstanding, the good news for Murray is that he usually wins in the end, but drama can normally be guaranteed on Flushing Meadows’ second stage.

Tennis: Nadal Pulls Out Of US Open With Injury

nadalWorld Number One, Rafael Nadal, has pulled out of the US Open the US Open because of an injury to his right wrist.

Nadal suffered an injury to his right wrist at home in Mallorca on July 29 whilst practicing for the US hard court season and he was advised by doctors to wear a cast for two to three weeks but the problem forced him to miss the Rogers Cup in Toronto and the Cincinnati Open.

The defending champion had hoped to recover in time before August 25, when the US Open gets underway at Flushing Meadows but announced on his Facebook page that he would not defend his title due to the injury.

Nadal said: “I am very sorry to announce I won’t be able to play at this year’s US Open, a tournament in which I’ve played in three consecutive finals.

“I am sure you understand that it is a very tough moment for me since it is a tournament I love and where I have great memories from fans, the night matches, so many things.

“Not much more I can do right now, other than accept the situation and, as always in my case, work hard in order to be able to compete at the highest level once I am back.”

The problem is a new one for Nadal to deal with after long-running battles with his knees. Though he plays left-handed, he has a double-handed backhand.

Nadal has not competed since he was beaten by Australian teenager, Nick Kyrgios, in the fourth round at Wimbledon on July 1.

He announced late last month that he would not be defending either his Rogers Cup title in Toronto or his Western & Southern Open crown in Cincinnati.

The World Number One has reached the final in his last three appearances at Flushing Meadows and on each occasion, he played Novak Djokovic.

He beat the Serbian in 2010 and 2013, and lost to him in 2011. Nadal missed the 2012 US Open because of a knee injury which kept him on the sidelines for nine months.

He won his 14th Grand Slam title on the clay of Roland Garros in May this year, but his pursuit of Roger Federer’s record 17 trophies will go on hold until the Australian Open in January, at least.

It is only the fourth time in the Open era, which began in 1968, that the reigning US Open men’s champion has been unable to defend his title.

Nadal’s absence means in-form world No 3, Roger Federer, who won the Cincinnati Masters on Sunday,would be seeded second behind Djokovic.