US Open 2012: Serena Williams vs. Victoria Azarenka Is Ideal Women's Final

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07:  Serena Williams of the United States reacts during her women's singles semifinal match against Sara Errani of Italy on Day Twelve of the 2012 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood, of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for USTA)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

There haven't been two better players in 2012 than Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka. So it's only fitting that in the final of this year's last Grand Slam, the U.S. Open, the two women should battle for supremacy.

You won't want to miss this.

Azarenka owned the beginning of the season. From January to March, she won four tournaments, including the Australian Open. Only Williams has stood in her way from an epic second half of the season, knocking her out of Wimbledon and the 2012 London Games in the semifinals.

That's in large part due to the fact that Williams has been on her game since a disappointing first-round exit at the French Open. She's won three tournaments since, including Wimbledon and the Olympics (she won the doubles title in each with sister Venus, as well).

Azarenka currently sits atop the rankings, but Williams still holds the distinction of being the most feared woman on the WTA Tour when she's at her best.

So who will win?

History would suggest Williams will prevail. She's 9-1 against Azarenka and hasn't dropped a set in their series since the 2010 Australian Open (five matches). She's won the U.S. Open three times, and right now, there isn't a hotter player in the game. 

And yes, momentum does matter.

But Azarenka is the game's next star, and while it would be an upset if she won, it certainly wouldn't be shocking. Perhaps that is the most fascinating storyline of them all—the younger star against the most dominant player of her time.

Can Azarenka finally break her streak of futility against Williams and stake her claim as the game's top player? Or will Williams' return to dominance this summer continue in New York?

If you wanted to draw up the perfect final for the women's game this year, the clash between these two women would be it. We may have plenty of parity on the WTA Tour these days—we've seen seven different Grand Slam winners in the past two seasons—but these two players have put themselves above the rest.

We'll learn which one of those women will be the queen of 2012 on Sunday night.


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