Short of her 24th Grand Slam title again, Serena Williams loses to Victoria Azarenka at the US Open
Stuck on 23 slam trophies since winning the 2017 Australian Open, losing four major finals since that last success at Melbourne Park, Williams looked on track to earn a 2018 US Open final rematch with Naomi Osaka after blitzing Azarenka in the first set.
After a delay of about five minutes at Arthur Ashe Stadium, action resumed, and while Williams raised the force of her shots and volume of her shouts, it was Azarenka who finished off a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory to return to a major championship final for the first time since 2013.
If not this year, when?
Williams avoided playing any top 10 players throughout the tournament, yet her last four matches all went three sets. Yes, there were times she looked like her dominant self such as when she served up 20 aces in the quarterfinals against Tsvetana Pironkova. Or when she played nearly perfect tennis like she did in the first set against Azarenka.
Williams who turns 39 at the end of the month said
“I started really strong,” Williams said after the match. “Then, she just kept fighting. She just changed and started playing better and better. Maybe I took a little too much of the gas pedal at some point.”