Serena Williams lost her bid to make it back to the finals at the US Open on Thursday night, after Victoria Azarenka defeated Williams in the semifinals at Arthur Ashe Stadium, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Azarenka will return to her third US Open final to take on Naomi Osaka on Saturday. Osaka beat Jennifer Brady in her semifinals match on Thursday to earn her second spot in the final in three years. This will be Azarenka’s first major final appearance in seven years.
Williams got off to a quick start on Thursday, and took the opening set 6-1; but after a string of unforced errors, dropped the second game and fell into a 1-0 hole in the third. Williams then tweaked her ankle early in the final set and needed a medical timeout, getting it looked at and retaped before returning to the court.
Azarenka has won two Grand Slam titles, back-to-back Australian Opens in 2012 and 2013. She reached the final at the US Open in each of those seasons, but was defeated by Williams.
Editorial credit: Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com