Serena Williams claimed her 5th US Open title and 17-th career Grand Slam trophy as she won Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-7 (6/8), 6-1 on Sunday.
The 31-year-old American became the oldest Open Era women’s winner in US Open history, 293 days older than Margaret Court when she set the prior mark in 1973, and the third-oldest Grand Slam women’s champion of the Open Era.
Williams won $3.6 million, including a $1 million bonus for her success in US open tune-up events.
She is the first top-seeded champion since Justine Henin in 2007 and the first woman to defend the US Open crown since Kim Clijsters in 2010.
Williams won a rematch of last year’s US Open final that gave her and Azarenka a combined total of six of the eight major titles from the past two years.
Williams improved to 13-3 in their rivalry but two-time Australian Open champion Azarenka had won two of the previous three, most recently in last month’s Cincinnati final.
“Victoria you played unbelievable,” Williams said. “What a great match and a great person. It’s an honour to play against you.
“Vika is such a great opponent and such a great fighter. That’s why she has won multiple Grand Slam titles. It was never over until match point.”
Azarenka admitted Williams was the superior performer in windy conditions at Arthur Ashe stadium.
“It’s a tough loss but being in the final against the best player, who deserves the win, it’s incredible,” Azarenka said. “I gave it everything I had. I fought hard but well deserved. Congratulations Serena.”