WILLIAMS 7-5 6-7(6) 6-1 - GAME, SET & MATCH! Williams does retain the title at the second attempt when Azarenka sends a forehand return just long of the baseline.
Serena Williams - Victoria Azarenka
US Open women - 9 September 2013
US Open – Follow the Tennis match between Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka live with Eurosport. The match starts at 00:30 on 9 September 2013. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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WILLIAMS 7-5 6-7(6) 5-1 40-30 - Azarenka easily races up to a drop shot from Williams but puts her forehand back to the American, who flicks a forehand lob winner to leave herself two points from the title. Two points quickly becomes one when Azarenka sends a forehand return long.... Azarenka does brilliantly well with her return of serve to deny Williams on the first, the American eventually netting a forehand to end a lengthy rally. One championship point remaining...
WILLIAMS 7-5 6-7(6) 5-1 - BREAK! A squeal of anguish from Azarenka as she makes contact with the ball is vindicated when her forehand drifts just long of the baseline after a great serve down the centre of the court. It hands Williams another break point and sure enough she does secure the double break when Azarenka nets a forehand. Williams will have a third attempt to serve out the match.
WILLIAMS 7-5 6-7(6) 4-1 - Azarenka finds herself completely stranded up at the net as Williams puts up a great lob that goes for a winner. The American then goes on to hold with back-to-back aces to consolidate the break in this final set. Azarenka was 4-1 down in the second set as well though, remember. Can she make another comeback?
WILLIAMS 7-5 6-7(6) 3-1 - BREAK! Azarenka saves it, just doing enough on a backhand drop shot and backhand volley to get Williams out of position that her second backhand volley can be put across court for a winner. She hands the American a second break point though and this time she does concede on a double fault, a sixth double fault from Azarenka.
WILLIAMS 7-5 6-7(6) 2-1 Ad-40 - Williams really has hated playing from the end she is currently at tonight and stomps her feet after drills a forehand drive volley long of the baseline. But a sliced forehand across court denies Azarenka on a first game point before a sixth double from the Belarusian squanders the second. She sets up a third but can't take advantage of that either, netting a forehand, and another netted forehand gifts Williams a break point.
WILLIAMS 7-5 6-7(6) 2-1 - Azarenka does well to get up the court to a very good drop shot from Williams only to put her forehand reply just long. The American squanders a first game point with a netted backhand before pushing Azarenka out of position and securing the game at the second attempt when the Belarusian nets a forehand.
WILLIAMS 7-5 6-7(6) 1-1 - Williams denies Azarenka on a first game point with a sweetly struck forehand winner across court on the angle. But the Belarusian holds at the second attempt, to 30, when Williams nets a regulation backhand well inside the line.
WILLIAMS 7-5 6-7(6) 1-0 - A troublesome couple of points for Williams to open the set before she settles to level at 30-all with a forehand winner down the centre of the court, from a short return, and then a big serve that Azarenka can only net off the forehand wing.
WILLIAMS 7-5 6-7(6) - SET! A gutsy second serve from Azarenka, which Williams can only net, brings up a third set point for the Belarusian. And this time she does secure the second set, Williams slapping a forehand long of the baseline. THIS MATCH WILL GO THE DISTANCE!
WILLIAMS 7-5 6-6 (6-6) - TIE-BREAK! Williams saves the first set point with a great serve out wide that Azarenka can only return into the net. The second, on Azarenka's serve, is an incredible point with the Belarusian doing everything she can to take this match the distance but being denied with some ferocious hitting from Williams that eventually draws the netted forehand from the world number two. All square again for the second change of ends.
WILLIAMS 7-5 6-6 (4-6) - TIE-BREAK! Williams sneaks ahead again after the change of ends when Azarenka slips on the baseline but she allows the Belarusian to level up again with a forehand error long after moving her opponent out of position. Azarenka then goes ahead with a great forehand stop volley that Williams can only lob long. A netted backhand from Williams hands Azarenka two set points...
WILLIAMS 7-5 6-6 (3-3) - TIE-BREAK! The first three points of the breaker go with serve before Williams secures the mini-break with an angled backhand winner across court and right on to the sideline. Azarenka goes right onto the line with a forehand drive volley winner, probably far closer than she meant it to be, before getting the mini-break back with a dipping backhand down the line that Williams can only volley into the net. All square at the change of ends.
WILLIAMS 7-5 6-6 - BREAK! Williams slaps away a ball in frustration after netting a forehand to give Azarenka a 15-30 advantage in the game. A huge first serve out wide sees the American level at 30-all when Azarenka can only return her lunging backhand wide down the line but a netted backhand from the Williams hands the Belarusian another break point. And a double fault keeps Azarenka in the match. This set, and possibly the match, will be decided by a tie-break.
WILLIAMS 7-5 6-5 - BREAK! Azarenka saves the first break point this time with a great body serve before Williams hits long to squander the second. But the American does break at the third attempt when Azarenka nets a backhand approach shot. The world number one will have a second chance to serve out the match.
WILLIAMS 7-5 5-5 40-0 - A backhand winner from Williams, off the shorter ball, followed by another double from Azarenka gifts the American the look at re-establishing her break advantage at 0-30. That quickly becomes three break points after a blistering backhand return of serve winner across court. Williams thinks she secured the break when Azarenka's backhand is called long but a hawkeye challenge shows the ball caught the back of the line...
WILLIAMS 7-5 5-5 - BREAK! Williams slaps down a double fault on the second point of the game before sending a regulation forehand long to gift Azarenka a 15-30 lead against serve. A backhand long across court, off the shorter ball, hands the Belarusian two more break back points. The first is saved with a cross court forehand winner but Williams slaps another backhand long to hand Azarenka a lifeline. Back on serve in this second set!
WILLIAMS 7-5 5-4 - Azarenka brings up two game points with a sizzling change-of-direction forehand down the line before going on to hold when Williams nets a forehand of her own. The world number one will serve for the match after the change of ends though.
WILLIAMS 7-5 5-3 - Fantastic point from both players as Azarenka does her best up at the net to draw the error from Williams. Eventually though the American finds the cross court forehand passing shot winner before going on to hold to love with an ace and a forehand long from the Belarusian. Azarenka will have to serve to keep this match alive next.
WILLIAMS 7-5 4-3 - Yet another double fault from Azarenka, they are really starting to rack up now, allows Williams to level at 30-all. But the Belarusian bounces back with a great first serve that Williams can only return long before going on to hold with a forehand winner straight down the line. Pressure on Williams now as Azarenka only trails by the one break with momentum firmly on her side.
WILLIAMS 7-5 4-2 - BREAK! A netted backhand from Williams, out of nowhere, hands Azarenka two immediate break back points. The first goes begging when the Belarusian can't quite find the corner with a running forehand down the line. But she does claim one of the breaks back at the second attempt with a cross court forehand winner, challenged unsuccessfully by Williams.
WILLIAMS 7-5 4-1 - BREAK! Azarenka lets Williams back into the game from 30-0 with her first double fault of the match, before a backhand winner from the American sees her level at 30-all. A second double then hands Williams another break point before a third double in quick succession gifts the world number one a double break.
WILLIAMS 7-5 3-1 - A great combination from Azarenka as she first puts a forehand down the line followed by a cross court forehand winner, followed by a forehand winner down the line to bring up two break back points. Williams saves the first with an angled ace out wide, while the second goes begging with a backhand return long and Williams goes on to hold with a service winner down the centre of the court.
WILLIAMS 7-5 2-1 - Azarenka belatedly gets on the board in this second set with a solid enough hold to 30 when Williams nets a backhand return of serve.
WILLIAMS 7-5 2-0 - Back-to-back aces from Williams bring up help her to a 40-0 lead as she looks to consolidate the break. And the American capitalises on her first game point with another great serve that draws the netted backhand from Azarenka.
WILLIAMS 7-5 1-0 - BREAK! This match is rapidly getting away from Azarenka now as Williams fires a backhand winner down the line to bring up two early break points in this second set. Azarenka saves the first but can do nothing about the second as her backhand down the line drifts just wide.
WILLIAMS 7-5 - SET! Consummate serving from Williams, Azarenka going long with a backhand return, brings up three set points for the American. And sure enough she seals it at the first attempt when the Belarusian pulls a cross court forehand just marginally wide across court.
WILLIAMS 6-5 - BREAK! A rare forehand winner from Williams as she finds a change-of-direction winner down the line to deny Azarenka on a first game point. The Belarusian then squanders a second with a forehand into the net before earning herself a break point with a cross court forehand winner, played off one leg. Williams will serve for the set after another pinpoint backhand return is netted in reply by Azarenka.
WILLIAMS 5-5 - This time Azarenka denies Williams with the perfect drop shot just over the net that the American can't get back up and over the net. The Belarusian denies Williams on another with a blistering backhand return winner across court, intially called out but overturned after a hawkeye challenge by Azarenka. Eventually though, Williams goes on to hold with a second serve ace. All square again.
WILLIAMS 4-5 Ad-40 - Williams completely mis-hits a forehand, sending the ball spinning well wide to allow Azarenka to level at 30-all. A much better serve on the next point, however, which Azarenka can only net, brings up game point for the American. A shocking double fault, the second serve only half way up the net, sees the Belarusian level at deuce before a backhand winner down the line brings up another game point for the American...
WILLIAMS 4-5 - Azarenka does brilliantly well to stay in a rally with a defensive lob that lands smack on the baseline followed by an awesome inside-out forehand winner, that again lands right on the line. She then brings up a game point with a cross court forehand winner on to the opposite line before going on to hold when Williams pulls a forehand wide across court. The world number one will have to serve to stay in this opening set after the change of ends.
WILLIAMS 4-4 - A great kicking serve out wide that Azarenka can only return short of the net, is followed by a kicking serve down the line for the same result as Williams also holds to 15 once again to level up. A big service game coming up for Azarenka now.
WILLIAMS 3-4 - A decent drop shot from Azarenka draws Williams into the net but it's a great reactionary backhand volley that seals the hold for the Belarusian as she lobs the American with said volley.
WILLIAMS 3-3 - Williams gets ahead in the game with a sliced forehand drop mid length that spins away from the court as soon as it lands before sealing the hold to 15 with a cross court forehand that Azarenka doesn't even run for. The Belarusian almost appeared to stop playing on the previous shot from Serena, like maybe she was contemplating challenging. Either way, Williams has the hold and it's all square again in this opening set.
WILLIAMS 2-3 - Williams slaps a cross court forehand return for a winner at 86kph, three kilometres an hour faster than Azarenka's first serve. But that's the only point Azarenka allows the American as she slaps a backhand into the net after a length backhand from the Belarusian.
WILLIAMS 2-2 - Azarenka rattles a forehand passing shot down the line, landing the ball just inside the line for the first point of the game. But Williams bounces flat and holds after consecutive forehand errors from Azarenka, the first into the net and the second long well inside the line.
WILLIAMS 1-2 - The wind seems to be particularly strong behind Williams at the moment as Azarenka's ground-strokes stop dead after their bounce while the consecutive baseline shots from the American float long. Azarenka posts her first hold of the match, to 15, when Williams nets a forehand.
WILLIAMS 1-1 - BREAK! Williams nets a forehand to gift Azarenka an immediate break back point and sure enough the Belarusian does get off the mark when Williams concedes her serve with a backhand long down the line.
WILLIAMS 1-0 - BREAK! The swirling wind really seems to catch Azarenka off guard in this opening game as she quickly finds herself triple break point down. The Belarusian saves the first with an ace - just her 11th of the tournament. But Williams does secure the break at the second attempt with a backhand winner rattled over the net.
The players are just about ready to get underway. Azarenka won the toss and opted to serve first, which points to a certain level of confidence. Here we go...
It's pretty blustery out on court today and warm but not as hot or humid as it has been. Of course, that's helped by the fact that it's currently 4.45pm in New York.
BUT, if that sounds overwhelmingly in favour of Williams, it is worth bearing in mind that Azarenka has won two of their last three meetings - all coming this year. The Belarusian triumphed in 7-6 (6) 2-6 6-3 in the Doha final before Williams bounced back with a straight sets win in Rome. Azarenka then won in the Cincinnati final just a couple of week ago in another three set classic - 2-6 6-2 7-6 (6) the final score in that clash.
These two have met 15 times before with Williams leading the head-to-heads by an overwhelming 12 wins to just three for Azarenka, including that victory in the final last year at Flushing Meadows.
"She's obviously an amazing player. She's the greatest of all time," said the 24-year-old Belarusian. "When you play against Serena, you have to play your best because she makes me play my best. I think I kind of do the same way to her. I think we kind of raise each other's level all the time and take each other to the limit - to go out of that place where you sometimes don't know how far you can go, but you just still go for it."
"We completely get along, and once the match is on we are completely opponents," said Williams. "That's what it's about. We leave everything on the court, play as hard as we can, almost as if we've never met each other in our lives."
This is an exact repeat of last year's final when Azarenka was so close to beating Williams before the American triumphed 6-2 2-6 7-5 in a thrilling match.
Hello and welcome to LIVE coverage of the women's US Open final between world number one, and defending champion, Serena Williams and world number two Victoria Azarenka.