Serena Wins 4th Us Open Singles Title; Kastles vs. Sportimes LiveSeptember 10, 2012 - World TeamTennis (WTT) Washington Kastles
Watch Live Coverage of WTT Playoffs All Weekend Long
In a US Open women's singles final between Washington Kastles past and present, current Kastles star Serena Williams rallied to defeat 2010 Washington player Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 on Sunday.
Showing the fearless resolve that has become her trademark over the years, Serena was two points from losing the match before holding at 3-5 and breaking Azarenka in the following game when the Belarusian served for the championship.
From there, the American held to take a 6-5 lead and broke once more to clinch her fourth US Open singles crown, 15th Grand Slam singles title and 30th major championship overall.
It was a story of three sets for Serena, who was +5 in the winners-to-errors ratio in the opener, -6 in the second set, and then even with 19 winners and 19 unforced errors in the decider.
Though Serena had to wait an extra day to play the final due to rain, her reign at the US Open has now spanned three different decades. She won her first Grand Slam singles title there in 1999, and added two more in 2002 and 2008 before triumphing this season.
Not since she held all four major titles in 2003 has Serena's hold on the women's tour been this dominant.
Besides her victory in New York City, Serena captured Wimbledon titles and Olympic gold medals in singles and doubles earlier this summer. She has won 26 of her last 27 singles matches overall, including surreal stretches of 23 consecutive games and 25 straight sets won.
Defeat for Azarenka was not without her fair share of moral victories. After Serena ran rough-shod through her first six opponents at the US Open, the World No. 1 Azarenka became the first woman all tournament to take a set off her, ending a personal 13-set losing streak against the champion along the way.
The 2010 Kastle also overcame a difficult draw en route to the final, passing three-set tests along the way against defending champion Samantha Stosur and 2006 champion Maria Sharapova.
But Serena remains a spell that the big-hitter from Belarus has yet to solve, falling in 10 of 11 career meetings against the current World No. 4.
Kastles fans got a glimpse of a star on the rise when Azarenka played for Washington during the final four matches of the 2010 season. Ranked No. 18 in the world at the time, Azarenka has since won nine singles titles, highlighted by her first major at the Australian Open, to become the fifth Kastle to reach World No. 1.
The women's singles final was the culmination of a banner US Open for current and former Kastles players.
Kastles captain Leander Paes and his partner Radek Stepanek did not drop a set en route to the men's doubles final, where they fell 6-3, 6-4 to No. 2 seeds Bob and Mike Bryan. Paes and Stepanek saved 10 of the 12 break points that they faced, but could not break the serves of the American twins.
Counting men's and mixed doubles, the two-time WTT Male MVP has now reached 29 Grand Slam finals in his career, including four this season. Paes and Stepanek defeated the Bryans for the Australian Open men's doubles title, while Paes and Elena Vesnina finished as runners-up in mixed doubles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
In mixed doubles at the US Open, Paes and Vesnina advanced to the quarterfinals, as did fellow Kastle Anastasia Rodionova and her teammate Jean-Julien Rojer.
Rodionova enjoyed success in singles as well, winning three qualifying matches and her first-rounder to jump 33 spots in the latest WTA rankings.
The Australian was one of three current Kastles to enter the main draw through qualifying, joining 2012 WTT Male MVP Bobby Reynolds and Washington substitute Edina Gallovits-Hall .
Though Venus Williams fell in the second round, she pushed No. 6 seed Angelique Kerber to three thrilling sets in a late-night match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The Kastles' late-season mixed doubles team of Raquel Kops-Jones and Treat Huey lost in the first round to Paes and Vesnina, but Kops-Jones reached the third round in women's doubles and Huey picked up a victory in men's doubles.
Nadia Petrova, a wild card for Washington in 2009, won three matches each in women's singles and women's doubles, teaming with Maria Kirilenko to knock off the Williams sisters in the third round.
Petrova's play was key for the Kastles during the team's first championship run, as was that of Olga Puchkova, who resurfaced in the Big Apple in a big way.
The Russian won five singles matches -- three in qualifying and two in the main draw -- to break back into the WTA Top 100.
The stakes remain high for five Kastles players competing in the WTT Playoffs this weekend in Charleston, S.C.
Venus Williams, Paes, Reynolds, Anastasia and Arina Rodionova will lead 14-0 Washington in its quest for a second consecutive perfect season and a third world championship.
Detailed information on WTT Finals Weekend tickets, hotels, flights and team events can be found on WashingtonKastles.com.
Watch Live Coverage of WTT Playoffs All Weekend Long
Live Streaming Saturday at WashingtonKastles.com
The Washington Kastles hope to have a huge home-court advantage during the WTT Playoffs this weekend, and are pleased to offer their fans exciting exclusives such as a pre-match tailgate, a post-match party and the opportunity to purchase courtside seats.
But even if you can't make the trip to Charleston, S.C., the Kastles have got you covered.
WashingtonKastles.com will present live streaming of the Eastern Conference Championship match between Washington and the New York Sportimes this Saturday at 6:30 pm. Kastles vs. Sportimes will also be televised on tape delay by NBC Sports Network Saturday evening at 12:30 am.
Washington is playing for a place in the WTT Finals, which will air live on NBC Sports Network this Sunday at 3:30 pm.
The Western Conference Championship match between the Orange County Breakers and Sacramento Capitals will be streamed live this Friday at 6:30 pm on WTT.com.
You won't have to miss a moment of the action as the 14-0 Kastles compete for their second straight perfect season and their third King Trophy in the last four seasons.
Leander Paes (IND)
Bobby Reynolds (USA)
Anastasia Rodionova (AUS)
Arina Rodionova (RUS)
Venus Williams (USA)
Coach: Murphy Jensen
NEW YORK SPORTIMES
Ashley Harkleroad (USA)
Martina Hingis (SUI)
Robert Kendrick (USA)
John McEnroe (USA)
Jesse Witten (USA)
Coach: Chuck Adams
ORANGE COUNTY BREAKERS
Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER)
Jana Juricova (SVK)
Travis Parrott (USA)
John-Patrick Smith (AUS)
Coach: Trevor Kronemann
Kevin Anderson (RSA)
Mark Knowles (BAH)
Asia Muhammad (USA)
Yasmin Schnack (USA)
CoCo Vandeweghe (USA)
Coach: Wayne Bryan
World TeamTennis Stories from September 10, 2012
- Serena Wins 4th Us Open Singles Title; Kastles vs. Sportimes Live - Washington Kastles
- ATP Pro Robert Kendrick Named To Sportime, John McEnroe Tennis Academy Staff - New York Sportimes
- World TeamTennis Finals to Air Live on NBC Sports Network - WTT
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