Victoria Azarenka has produced an extraordinary comeback to make the US Open final and send Serena Williams packing.
Chasing Margaret Court’s grand slam record of 24 major titles, Williams looked well on her way to the final against Naomi Osaka when she won the first set 6-1 on Thursday.
However Azarenka produced a stunning turnaround to take the second and third sets from her visibly frustrated opponent.
Azarenka was a completely different player as she overpowered Williams across the final two sets, while the American appeared a shadow of her first set-self.
Williams appeared to suffer an ankle injury early in the third set, calling for the doctor and taking a medical timeout.But the break couldn’t disrupt Azarenka’s momentum, who prevailed 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.
TV commentators described Williams’ inability to close out the match after winning the first set “stunning.”
Williams led Azarenka 18-4 in head-to-head matches and had won all 10 of their previous grand slam encounters – including the 2012 and 2013 US Open finals.
Williams, who turns 39 in less than three weeks, remains one shy of a record-tying 24th grand slam singles title.
Naomi Osaka storms in US Open finals after hard fought win over Brady
Earlier Naomi Osaka made it to the finals of US Open 2020. 22 year old from Japan defeated Jeniffer Brady in a hard fought semi-final battle.
Osaka won in three sets against Brady who was playing her first Grand Slam semifinals. Osaka won 7-6, 3-6, 6-3
Osaka already has one US Open title to her name in 2018 which was her first Grand Slam victory. The victory in 2018 also resulted in Osaka becoming one of the world’s most marketable athlete. According to Forbes, she banked $37.4 million last year, making her the highest-paid female athlete ever