US OPEN: AZARENKA DEFEATS SERENA TO MEET NAOMI OSAKA IN FINAL
Belarusian Victoria Azarenka put a halt to Serena Williams quest to equal Margaret Court’s record with stunning 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 win to meet Japanese Naomi Osaka in US Open Final, Saturday.
Azarenka who return to major grand slam final after taking some time off to start up a family showed some flashes of her old self in the first set but lost 1-6 to Serena.
She made a remarkable comeback in the second set dictating the pace and sending her shots to the middle court, Williams struggled to match her pace as Azarenka took control to lead 6-3 in the second set.
Williams who got Achilles injury in the early set and called for a tape job, returned to the third set raising the force in her shots and volume of shouts. But Victoria Azarenka who was making a comeback to a major championship final for the first time in seven years maintained calm and dictated the game more to her advantage with more shots to the middle and around the court
She continued with less errors and exposing her opponent weakness of response to the shots from her end. Williams who had made comeback to survive three set battles against Sloane Stephens, Maria Sakkari and Tsvetana Pironkova could not contain the pressure from two time Australian Open Champion, Azarenka and she was crushed in the third set 6-3.
Azarenka who had almost been written off until her return and victory at the Western and Southern Open last month, said after the match that she knew it wasn’t over at 5-3 which experience and maturity as mother did work to her to her expectation to win the game.
She hyped praises to mothers and other women as she hope to be a source of encouragement,
She said “Hopefully it inspires women to go after their dreams,”
“I feel like you can’t always identify yourself as just one thing. You have many things you can do in your life.
“Being a parent is the most important thing in my life but I’m a tennis player on court, I’m a fighter on the court and, when I go after my dreams, inspire my child and I hope that women around the world know they can do anything because being a parent is the toughest thing so once you can balance that you can do anything.”
Meanwhile six time US Open Champion Serena Williams said of Azarenka started really strong,
“Then she just kept fighting. She just changed and started playing better and better. Maybe I took a little too much off the gas pedal at some point. She really played well.
“It’s obviously disappointing. At the same time, I did what I could today. I feel like other times I’ve been close and I could have done better. Today I felt I gave a lot.”
Belarusian, Azarenka shall meet Naomi Osaka of Japan in the final Saturday. The 2018 US Open Champion and world highest paid female athlete, Naomi won the top flight tennis action at Flushing Meadows against Jennifer Brady, 7-6 (7-1) 3-6, 6-3.