Serena rallies, wins 15th GS title

SERENA WILLIAMS took the last four games to rally past top-ranked Victoria Azarenka on Sunday night (Monday morning in Manila), 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, and win her fourth U.S. open title.

It was her 15th grand Slam title overall.

Given all of the setbacks Serena Williams shrugged aside over the years — on tennis courts and, more daunting, away from them — she probably shouldn’t have been worried when she stood two points from losing the U.S. Open final.

And yet, she explained afterward, “I really was preparing my runner-up speech.”

No need for that. When the going got tough, Williams got going.

“I never give up. I never, never quit,” Williams said after the first three-set U.S. Open women’s final since 1995. “I have come back so many times in so many matches.”

Serena missed eight months after having surgery on her left knee in 2003, the year she had completed a self-styled “Serena Slam” by winning four consecutive major titles. Of more concern: Only a few days after winning Wimbledon in 2010, Williams cut both feet on broken glass while leaving a restaurant in Germany, leading to two operations on her right foot. Then she got clots in her lungs and needed to inject herself with a blood thinner. Those shots led to a pool of blood gathering under her stomach’s skin, requiring another procedure in the hospital.

In all, she was off the tour for about 10 months, returning in 2011. Noli Cruz

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