NEW YORK -- No. 1 Serena Williams defeated No. 11 Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-3 to win her sixth U.S. Open title and 18th major title of her career. The win moves her into a three-way tie with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova for second place on the list of most major titles in the Open Era behind Steffi Graf's record of 22 titles. The win redeemed what was an otherwise disappointing Slam season for Williams, who lost before the quarterfinals in three straight Slams before arriving in New York. But there's always been something about the Empire State that brings out Williams' best. She won her first major title at the 1999 U.S. Open and now, 15 years later, she's won her 18th.
"I just could never have imagined that I would be mentioned with Chris Evert or with Martina Navratilova, because I was just a kid with a dream and a racket," Williams said. "Living in Compton, you know, this never happened before. I just never could have imagined that it could have ended -- not ended. I'm just beginning."
With so much on the line both players showed signs of nerves. Wozniacki, 24, was playing in just her second Slam final and first in five years. Overpowered from the start by Williams' return game, the Dane was broken in her first three service games. She responded by breaking back twice before Williams was able to pocket the first set in 40 minutes. The second set was much of the same. Wozniacki was broken in her first service game but this time Williams did well to protect her service games. Wozniacki saw four break points in the first set but never earned a chance to break in the second. Serving to stay in the match at 3-5, Wozniacki was broken for the fifth time to end the match after an hour and 15 minutes. Serena finished the match hitting 29 winners, seven of which were aces, to 23 unforced errors. Wozniacki, unable to summon the strong serving that pushed Serena to three sets in their two matches over the summer, finished with four winners, three of which were aces, to 15 unforced errors.
"Well, when she's on her game it's not fun to play her," Wozniacki said. "She's so strong. She has a good serve and she puts pressure on you straightaway. Today I went out there and I was a little nervous. I had a game plan in mind, but it was kind of difficult at the start. I tried to push her back, but that really didn't work for me. She really just stepped in and she was playing aggressive."
This was their third match against each other in the last five weeks, and Williams has won them all. Wozniacki joked after the match that Serena owes her drinks, and as it turns out, the two friends have already made plans to meet up later in the evening. Said Serena: "Yeah, we're gonna hang out later tonight. I definitely will buy the drinks."