Victoria Azarenka showed that she is a real threat to win the US Open with a dramatic three set triumph over Serena Williams in the Western & Southern Open final on Sunday. In the process, the Belarusian added quite a few notches to her résumé.
- Though she is a long way behind Williams' WTA-leading eight titles this year, Azarenka's third tied her with Simona Halep for second most WTA titles in 2013.
- While she is just 3-12 all-time against Williams, Azarenka is now 2-1 against her this year.
- This was Azarenka's second win over a reigning World No.1, with the first also coming over Williams in Miami in 2009. Also, this was the fifth World No.1 vs. World No.2 match-up this year, with this being the first win for a World No.2:
Doha: No.1 Azarenka d. No.2 Williams
Miami: No.1 Williams d. No.2 Sharapova
Madrid: No.1 Williams d. No.2 Sharapova
Roland Garros: No.1 Williams d. No.2 Sharapova
Cincinnati: No.2 Azarenka d. No.1 Williams
- This was Azarenka's 17th WTA title, with 16 of those having come on hardcourts. That broke a tie with Caroline Wozniacki for fourth most WTA hardcourt titles among active players:
1. Serena Williams: 33
2. Venus Williams: 26
3. Maria Sharapova: 17
4. Victoria Azarenka: 16
5. Caroline Wozniacki: 15
- Azarenka also improved to 25-1 on hardcourts this year.
Despite the loss, Williams still clinched becoming the first two-time first place finisher in the Emirates Airline US Open Series, having also led the standings in 2011. She also is up to 64 matches played in 2013, passing the 62 she played in 2009 and 2012 for most she has played in a season in her career.
Hsieh & Peng Stay Hot
Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai improved their winning streak to 10 matches with a narrow victory over Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke in the Cincinnati final, which was also their 60th WTA match win as a pairing. On top of that, they improved to 7-0 in WTA finals and moved into a three-way tie for most WTA titles by a duo this season:
1t. Errani & Vinci: 3
1t. Hsieh & Peng: 3
1t. Petrova & Srebotnik: 3
- Caroline Wozniacki went up two spots to No.8, her highest ranking in a year.
- Cincinnati semifinalist Jelena Jankovic climbed four spots to No.11. If she goes up one more spot, she will be in the Top 10 for the first time since June 2011.
- Serena Williams is spending her 150th week as World No.1, making her one of six players to have spent that many weeks atop the rankings:
Steffi Graf: 377 weeks
Martina Navratilova: 332 weeks
Chris Evert: 260 weeks
Martina Hingis: 209 weeks
Monica Seles: 178 weeks
Serena Williams: 150 weeks