Serena Williams

Serena Slammed

September 11

Serena Williams fell to Victoria Azarenka in three sets in the semifinals of the U.S. Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Thursday.

And according to the numbers, it was one of the more shocking losses in Williams' illustrious career.

The 38-year-old Williams has made it to the semifinals of the American grand slam tournament in four different decades and she's made it to the finals each of the past two years. 

This year, she was looking to tie Margaret Court for the most grand slam titles of all-time (24).

Williams won her 23rd grand slam at the 2017 Australian Open, but has not won any of the subsequent 13 grand slam tournaments.

The 6-time U.S. Open champ Williams dominated the first set, winning it 6-1. She converted 75 percent of her serves while only dropping two points behind her first serves. She also recorded four more winners than unforced errors.

And when Serena is that dominant in an opening set, defeating her was previously nearly impossible.

Williams' only defeat after winning the opening set 6-0 or 6-1 came at Wimbledon in 2014 against Alize Cornet. 

In addition, Azarenka had never beaten Serena in a grand slam match prior to Thursday night, her 12th opportunity.

The second and third sets were truly a different story for Williams.

She didn't win a point behind her second serve in the second set, while Azarenka racked up 12 winners and only one unforced error in the second.

Serena will now miss the U.S. Open finals for the first time in three years, after falling to Naomi Osaka in the 2018 championship and Bianca Andreescu in last year's final. 

However, Williams will have one more crack at her 24th grand slam later this month.

In a normal calendar year, the U.S. Open would serve as the final grand slam of the season, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the French Open was postponed earlier this year and will kick off on Sept. 27.

Only three of Serena's 23 grand slams have come at Roland Garros.

In Saturday's final, Azarenka will face Osaka, both 2-time major champions and former World No. 1s.


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