US Open Tennis 2013: Serena Williams Will Defeat Rival to Repeat as Champion

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 7, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 06:  Serena Williams of United States of America celebrates a point during her women's singles semifinal match against Na Li of China on Day Twelve of the 2013 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6, 2013 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

A year after defeating Victoria Azarenka in the New York final, Serena Williams will defend her U.S. Open title by beating her rival once again.

Both women are playing at a high level right now, so the 2013 U.S. Open final should be as entertaining as last year's.

The top two players have made it this far, and the match could go either way. Both players are looking for their second Grand Slam title of the year. Williams won the French Open, and Azarenka came out on top at the Australian Open.

Williams leads this rivalry 12-3, but Azarenka has a 2-1 advantage in 2013. Even though she hasn't found a way to consistently top her rival lately, Williams is still considered the favorite in the final.

More importantly, the current No. 1 player in the world is 7-0 against her opponent in Grand Slam meetings.

Azarenka defeated Williams in the final 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (6) at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati last month. She has also won both meetings on hard surfaces this year, so it appears that she has the edge.

However, don't underestimate Williams. 

Serena is looking for her fifth title at the event and second in a row. Azarenka has yet to win a Grand Slam other than the Australian Open, and she had never even made it past the fourth round in New York until last year. 

The American is looking to continue her hot run in New York. She has lost a set in 13 straight matches in the event and she knows what it takes to win in New York.

Three consecutive finals have given her the experience necessary to handle the pressure and win.

When the two have met recently, neither player has been able to win successive meetings. They have alternated wins in their last four meetings, so it's Serena's turn to come out on top.

Last year's final was incredible. Williams won 6–2, 2–6, 7–5. Azarenka was actually serving for the match in the 10th game, but Williams was able to rally to escape with the title.

The past favors Williams, but it's what she has done this year that has her poised to win her second Grand Slam of the year.

In 2013, the 31-year-old has won eight tournaments and finished second in two other events. She is 66-4 on the year, although two of her losses have been to Azarenka. She is an incredible 97-5 with 13 tournament titles, including five Grand Slams, since the beginning of the 2012 Wimbledon.

Her success this year earned her the No. 1 ranking in the world, a spot that had previously been occupied by her next opponent. 

Serena is not only winning matches, she is dominating her opponents.

She has allowed only four points in the last five sets and opponents have failed to get on the board in three straight sets before No. 5 Li Na was able to break the streak last round, with match stats courtesy of the official website of the U.S. Open.

With a two-set victory, Williams will be the first player to win the event without dropping a set since 2008. 

This year, Azarenka has found a way to turn the tables on her rival. However, the 24-year-old hasn't found a way to beat Williams in a Grand Slam. That trend will continue as Williams has dominated this event for much of the last three years.

Williams will win her 17th Grand Slam win as she defends her title at the U.S. Open by defeating Azarenka in the final for the second straight year.


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