NEW YORK - 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 gets toughest, Williams tends to shine.
Finally tested, and even trailing, at Flushing Meadows, Williams suddenly found her composure and her strokes, winning the last four games for a 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 victory over top-ranked Victoria Azarenka on Sunday night, collecting a fourth U.S. Open championship and 15th Grand Slam title overall.
“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.”
In other ways, too.