U.S. Open: It’s Azarenka, Osaka For Final
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus defeated Serena Williams 1/6; 6/3; 6/3 to set up a title match with Naomi Osaka who defeated American Jennifer Brady7/6 (1); 3/6; 6/3 in a match played under the roof of Arthur Ashe Stadium as rain poured on Corona Park Flushing Meadows.
Osaka won the first set tiebreaker in which she dropped only one point. Brady won the second set on a single break of serve. In the third set, Osaka broke serve in the fourth game and held for 4-1 and Brady saved four break points to reduce the tally 2-4.
In the seventh game, Osaka moved up 30-0 but a Brady forehand winner reduced the score. Osaka delivered a kick serve to pull her opponent wide to reach 40-15 and dropped a point before clinching the game for a 5-2.
Serving to stay in the match, Brady delivered an ace for 15-0 and reached 30-0 when Osaka returned serve into the net. At 40-0, a deft crosscourt return by Osaka reduced the score but Brady sealed the game with a forehand winner. Brady took the first point of the eighth game and Osaka leveled on a second serve. At match point, Osaka committed her only double fault of the match and hit her foot with the racket. Then she made a winning serve to reach 30-all and a forehand winner to 40-30.match point. Osaka won the game when Brady netted the only Osaka first serve in the game.
Azarenka lost her serve to concede the opening game and Serena consolidated the break to lead 2-0. She was down 0-30 and reached 30-all on a passing shot. At 30-40, Azarenka mishit a forehand to concede a second break of serve. Serena reached 30-0 on two winners and won the fourth game with a service winner. Azarenka managed a smile when a one-handed Serena back-hand shot nipped and rolled over the tape. Azarenka took the fifth game and forfeited a break opportunity with a wide backhand. Serena held serve to 5-1. Azarenka reached 40-0 but was taken to deuce and lost the game and set 6/1.
Serena opened serving and won the first game of the second set with aces and prevailed in a long rally to win the third game. Azarenka took the fourth at love and broke Serena’s serve to lead 3-2. She held for 4-2 and had Serena at 30-40 before losing the game for 4-3. Serena battled back to deuce from 40-0 but Azarenka took the eighth game to lead 5-3. At 15-30, Serena missed an easy forehand, and this cost her game and set.
Azarenka took her to serve in the first game of the third set. Serena did not stop at her chair but headed straight to the other side. She yelled after making the first point and followed with an ace. She lost two game points and conceded the break for 2-0 lead by Azarenka who stretched the lead to 30 on her serve. Serena held for 3-1 as games proceeded with serve to a 5-2 lead by Azarenka. Serena won the eighth game. Serving for the match, Azarenka lost only one point on a double fault and delivered an ace. The unsuccessful challenge by Serena gave the drama that ended the upset victory. After crossing to Azarenka’s side to congratulate her, Serena left the court immediately, accompanied by the trainer.