The greatest players can win with their B-Game, and that is exactly what Serena Williams did Sunday night. She captured her fourth U.S. Open title by defeating No. 1 ranked Victoria Azarenka (6-2, 2-6, 7-5).
After blasting Azarenka in the first set, Williams seemed to fall apart in the second set. She made a litany of unforced errors, and the poor play spilled into the third set as well. Between the two sets she made 34 unforced errors.
It appeared that Williams had given up, and she nearly admitted as much in her victory speech.
She said: "I was preparing my runner-up speech", you can see the interview below.
You could see the air drain out of her, but she seemed to regain confidence late in the third set. She came through with an impressive comeback win after trailing 5-4 in the decisive set.
This type of win is what defines champions and historical greatness. Considering all that she's accomplished, Williams' career compares favorably with all the greats of the game.
She is the perfect storm: athletically superior to every woman that has ever played and fiercely competitive. Sometimes both qualities can cause her to lose focus, but when she's right, she is virtually unbeatable.
Williams has won 15 major titles (five Australian Open, one French Open, five Wimbledon and four U.S. Open) and 45 total titles on the WTA tour. Her major titles have come over a span of three decades, only Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King have accomplished that feat.
She has also won four gold medals.
Were it not for injuries and other interests, her totals would be even more gaudy. Even at 30 years old Williams is so much better than everyone else in the world, her matches are only competitive when she plays poorly,
Once Williams decides to hang up her racquet, we may never see a woman dominate the game like her again.
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