2012 US Open (Tennis) logo2012 US Open (Tennis)

US Open 2012 Women's Final: Start Time, TV Schedule, Live Stream and More

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07:  Serena Williams of the United States celebrates match point during her women's singles semifinal match against Sara Errani of Italy on Day Twelve of the 2012 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer ISeptember 7, 2012

Three-time U.S. Open champion Serena Williams defeated No. 10 seed Sara Errani in straight sets on Friday, and world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka disposed of Maria Sharapova in three sets.

That sets up what should be an electric women's final at the 2012 U.S. Open.

Williams has simply been dominant since the French Open this year, and Azarenka hasn't been half bad herself.

Will Williams win the fourth U.S. Open title of her career and her 15th Grand Slam singles title? Or will Azarenka win her second career major, after capturing the Australian Open earlier this year?

Let's break it down, shall we?

 

Where: Arthur Ashe Stadium, Flushing, N.Y.

When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. ET

Watch: CBS

Live Stream: WatchESPN

 

Breakdown

Serena Williams advanced in straight sets against Sara Errani in the semifinals, 6-1, 6-2. She has yet to lose a set in the 2012 U.S. Open.

In fact, Williams has gone 25-1 in singles since she lost in the first round of the French Open to Virginie Razzano. She may not officially be the world No. 1 in women's tennis (she's ranked fourth), but she certainly looks like it.

The 30-year-old has 50 aces through six matches in this year's U.S. Open. Maria Sharapova has the second most...with 37.

Williams has also won 83 percent of first-serve points (ranked first) and 59 percent of second-serve points (fifth), as well as notching 93 first-serve-return points (tied for second) and 75 second-serve-return points (tied for sixth), per USOpen.org. Add in the fact that she's won 28 break points in the tournament (fourth), and you have a truly dominant player.

Azarenka, of course, isn't the world No. 1 for nothing. The 23-year-old won her first career Grand Slam singles title at the 2012 Australian Open, and she's 54-7 with four singles titles this season.

Azarenka also is coming off a come-from-behind victory over Sharapova, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. She's dropped two sets in the tournament (to Sharapova and to reigning champ Sam Stosur).

While Williams generally dominates with her serve, Azarenka does quite the opposite. The Belarusian averaged just 96 mph on her first serve against Sharapova and ranks 13th in the tournament in first-serve points (71 percent).

Azarenka's undeniable strength lies in her return game. She's racked up 124 first-serve-return points in the 2012 U.S. Open (Angelique Kerber is second with 93.) and 87 second-serve-return points (ranked third).

Azarenka has also become a steel trap when it comes to break points and leads the tournament with 36. She has the ability to rise to the occasion when it counts.

 

Prediction

I respect Azarenka's game, but let's be honest; she's no match for Williams when the 14-time Grand Slam singles champion is on her game.

Despite appearing to have just the style to uproot Williams, Azarenka's return game hasn't prevented her from going 1-9 against Williams in her career. She's lost the last seven head-to-head matchups against Serena and that includes at Wimbledon 2009, the 2010 Australian Open, the 2011 U.S. Open and at Wimbledon and the London Olympics this year.

If Azarenka were to face anybody but Serena in the final, I'd give the title to her. But she's facing Serena, and I wouldn't be surprised if she loses in straight sets.

 

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