US Open

Serena wins 18th Grand Slam

2014-09-08 06:50
Serena Williams (AFP)

New York - America's Serena Williams won her 18th Grand Slam title at last, overpowering Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-3 on Sunday to capture her sixth US Open crown.

The world No 1, shut out in the first three majors of the year, ended a year of waiting as she joined Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova on 18 majors - trailing only the 22 of Steffi Graf on the Open era list and six behind the all-time record held by Margaret Court.

Williams, who turns 33 later this month, said the goal of an 18th Grand Slam had hung over her "because I was joining Chrissy and Martina, someone I never thought me, Serena Williams, would be in that name group.

"Who am I?" said Williams, who grinned with delight as Evert and Navratilova presented her with a gold bracelet bearing an "18" charm.

"I never thought you would mention my name with such greats and legends."

Williams lifted the trophy at Flushing Meadows for the third straight year, joining Evert as the only woman in the Open era to win three titles in a row and matching Evert's six US Open triumphs.

She also offered words of encouragement to her beaten foe, her friend and confidant as both endured difficult months this year.

"Congratulations to Caroline, she knows the struggles I have had," Williams said, adding to
her friend: "You will win a Grand Slam title soon."

But former world No 1 Wozniacki, owner of 22 WTA titles, still has that gaping hole on her resume.

The Dane was just 19 when she lost to Kim Clijsters in the 2009 US Open final, and she hadn't returned to a Grand Slam title match until Sunday.

With so much on the line for each woman, the first set was a tense affair with few fireworks.

After saving a break point in the first game with an ace, Williams made Wozniacki pay for a tight first service game, in which the Dane double faulted twice.

Williams seized the break and a 2-0 lead with a pair of stinging service returns.

"I was a little nervous going out there," said Wozniacki, who found the noise in Arthur Ashe Stadium "overwhelming."

"I just wanted to get a good start. I knew that against Serena, you have to have a good start, otherwise she starts going in and being even more aggressive. You know, you're kind of done."

Williams didn't run off with it right away, but a run of five service breaks ended with the American holding for a 5-2 lead, heaping the pressure on Wozniacki to hold for the first time.

She did, fending off one break point to force Williams to serve it out.

With a set in hand, Williams was moving more freely. Even luck wasn't going Wozniacki's way, as a net cord bounce in Williams' favour ended a 20-shot rally to give the American a break chance in the first game of the second - which she promptly converted.

Wozniacki's vaunted defensive skills were on full display in the second set as she doggedly ran down balls, but she couldn't match Williams' power and ability to conjure winners from all areas of the court.

Williams finished with 29 winners to Wozniacki's four, belting a forehand to give herself match point.

That was the first moment she felt sure of victory, Williams said.

"Other than that I was really tight and nervous the whole match," said Williams, who didn't drop a set in the tournament. "There was so much on the line.

When Wozniacki's last backhand went long, Williams dropped to her back on the court, covering her face with her hands.

"I just felt so good," she said.

Williams began the year boldly, with the possibility of achieving a rare calendar Grand Slam talked up by her coach Patrick Mouratoglou before the Australian Open in January.

That dream ended with a fourth-round exit at Melbourne.

An embarrassing second-round exit at Roland Garros was followed by a third-round departure at Wimbledon - where she also looked weak and disoriented in a bizarre exit from doubles.

Since then Williams had gone from strength to strength, winning two US hardcourt titles in the run-up to the Open.

Her strong showing on the hardcourts of America meant she claimed a $4m jackpot on Sunday - $3m for winning the title and a $1m bonus as the winner of the US Open Series points race.

"I think through this whole tournament I was really calm," Williams said. "I practiced so hard. Not just this week, but for like six months. I think it's now showing."

Results on Sunday from the 14th day of the US Open, the final Grand Slam tournament of 2014 (x denotes seeded player):

Women's singles


Serena Williams (USA x1) bt Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x10) 6-3, 6-3

Men's doubles


Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA/USA x1) bt Marcel Granollers/Marc Lopez (ESP/ESP x11) 6-3, 6-4

Junior Boys


Omar Jasika (AUS) bt Quentin Halys (FRA x5) 2-6, 7-5, 6-1

Junior Girls


Marie Bouzkova (CZE) bt Anhelina Kalinina (UKR x9) 6-4, 7-6 (7/5)


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.