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Serena Williams downs Victoria Azarenka for fifth U.S. Open crown

  |   Sept. 8, 2013 at 8:05 PM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- World No. 1 Serena Williams captured her fifth U.S. Open title Sunday, overcoming second-seeded Victoria Azarenka in a hotly contested struggle.

Williams outlasted Azarenka 7-5, 6-7 (6-8), 6-1 for her 17th Grand Slam title, for the fourth-most in history, one less than Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.

After winning the first set, the outcome seemed in doubt when Williams blew a 4-1 lead in the second set, allowing Azarenka to storm back and force a final set after winning a tiebreaker.

But in the third, the American star notched a service break for a 3-1 lead, then scored another break and went on to close out her fifth New York title, tying her with Margaret Court and Steffi Graf for the fourth-most all-time.

Azarenka, meanwhile, fell in the U.S. Open final for the second straight year and dropped to 3-13 in her career against Williams.

Williams racked up her ninth victory of the season, improving to 67-4 overall this year.

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