Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Serena, Azarenka come full circle

NEW YORK — Serena Williams will have something to prove when she clashes with Victoria Azarenka in today's U.S. Open final after losing two of her past three matches to the Grand Slam tournament's second seed.

Azarenka beat Williams, the Open's top seed, in Doha, Qatar, in February and in the Cincinnati hardcourt final last month. Her loss was in a Rome final on clay.

"In both matches (Azarenka) played really well," Williams said of her losses. "I let myself down at opportunities, and I didn't take them.

"When she plays me, she plays her best, by far. I have seen her play other players, and when I play her, I'm playing a totally different player. Obviously she brings her best game."

Williams, in her third straight U.S. Open final, is bidding for a fifth U.S. Open trophy. She beat Azarenka in last year's final.

Azarenka is aiming for her second major title this season after winning the Australian Open for the second straight year. She said she carries no bad memories of her U.S. Open loss last year, in a match she pushed to a third set and was two points from victory. Williams won the last four games.

"I feel like I'm a better player (than a year ago), I'm a more complete player," Azarenka said.

Through six matches at this Open, Williams has won every set, losing a total of 16 games. Only once in the past 25 years has a woman dropped fewer games through six full matches en route to a major final (Mary Pierce dropped 10 at the 1994 French Open, then lost the final.)

Azarenka has lost two sets and 40 games. Her serving has been particularly shaky: 31 double-faults, 10 aces, 20 breaks. Williams has been broken twice.

"Serena and I each other pretty well," Azarenka said. "I know her strengths; she knows my strengths. That's what it's all about, about those turning points, who wants it more, who's willing to go for it more."

Fast facts

Tale of the tape

Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka meet today for the U.S. Open title:

Williams Azarenka



16-4Grand Slam finals2-1

54Career titles17

4U.S. Open titles0

82013 titles3


66-42013 record42-4

35-3'13 hardcourt rec.31-1

TV: 4:30 p.m., Ch. 10

Serena, Azarenka come full circle 09/07/13 [Last modified: Saturday, September 7, 2013 7:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Roberto Aguayo, Jonathan Drouin, Tim Beckham are coming for revenge


    Forget the Three Tenors.

    Make it the Three Terrors.

    The 2017 Unfulfilled Expectations Tour is about to hit Tampa Bay.

    From left, former Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo, ex-Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin and former Rays infielder Tim Beckham. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times; DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times; Getty Images]
  2. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz celebrates his Trop-record 482-foot home run in the ninth inning.
  3. Rays journal: Kevin Kiermaier returns, Mallex Smith sent to Triple A

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It didn't take CF Kevin Kiermaier long to make his presence felt during his return Friday to the Rays lineup. Kiermaier pretended to have Mariners DH Nelson Cruz's first-inning line drive lined up even as the ball went past him to his right and to the wall.

    Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) flies out in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  4. Rays vs. Mariners, 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    6:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    This is a 2017 photo of Jake Odorizzi of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)