NEW YORK - World No.1 Serena Williams won her fifth US Open title yesterday, defeating second-ranked Victoria Azarenka 7-5 6-7 (6-8) 6-1 to capture her 17th career grand slam singles crown.
With her second title in a row, the 31-year-old American became the oldest open-era women's winner in US Open history - 293 days older than Australian Margaret Smith Court when she won in 1973.
Williams won $US3.6 million ($F5.669 million), including a $US1 million ($F1.889 million) bonus for her success in US Open tuneup events.
She is the first top-seeded champion since Justine Henin in 2007 and the first to defend the women's crown since Kim Clijsters in 2010.
Williams won a rematch of last year's US Open final that was assured of giving her and Azarenka a combined total of six of the eight major titles from the past two years.
Williams improved to 13-3 in their rivalry but two-time Australian Open champion Azarenka had won two of the previous three, most recently in last month's Cincinnati final.
"Victoria you played unbelievable," Williams said. "What a great match and a great person. It's an honour to play against you.
"Vika is such a great opponent and such a great fighter. That's why she has won multiple grand slam titles. It was never over until match point."
Azarenka admitted Williams was the better player.
"It's a tough loss but being in the final against the best player, who deserves the win, it's incredible," Azarenka said. "I gave it everything I had. I fought hard but well deserved. Congratulations Serena."