Serena Williams ended a difficult-for-her Grand Slam season in the best way possible, winning her third consecutive US Open championship and 18th major title overall.
And like each of her matches at Flushing Meadows the past two weeks, the final wasn’t close at all — a 6-3, 6-3 victory over good friend Caroline Wozniacki that lasted only 75 minutes Sunday.
Williams equaled Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova with 18 Grand Slam singles titles, the fourth-most in history. Williams also matched Evert’s total of six championships at the US Open and became the first woman to win three in a row since Evert’s four-title run from 1975-78.
Not only did Williams, ranked and seeded No. 1, win all 14 sets she played in the tournament, she never even dropped more than three games in any of them.
When the final ended, Williams dropped to her back behind the baseline, covering her face with her hands. Her first major trophy also came in New York, in 1999, when she was 17.
“It is a pleasure for me to win my first Grand Slam here and then this No. 18,” Williams said, her voice choking. “So I’m really emotional. I couldn’t ask to do it at a better place.”
Williams earned $4 million, a record in tennis — $3 million for the title, plus a $1 million bonus for having had the best results during the North American summer hard-court circuit. She also became the first female athlete to top $60 million in on-court earnings. Evert and Navratilova joined her on court during the trophy and check ceremony.
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