Serena Williams repeats as U.S. Open champion by beating Victoria Azarenka in final

As day slipped into night in Flushing Meadows Sunday, the wind whipped and swirled inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, and seemed about to blow the dominant story line of the last two weeks into Flushing Bay.

Only then did the defending champion restore order, stilling her fraying nerves and unleashing the most powerful serve in women’s tennis, and achieving the pinnacle she was after.

Scarcely a half-hour before Serena Williams hoisted a Grand Slam trophy for the 17th time – earned with a taut 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-1 victory over No. 2 Victoria Azarenka — she was kicking her racket, coming unglued, looking utterly disgusted that she couldn’t hold a two-break advantage in the second set, that she failed twice to serve things out for her title. Nobody said it was going to be easy.

“Vika is such a great opponent and great fighter,” Williams said. “It was never over until match point.”

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