Serena Williams wins third consecutive US Open

One way or the other, Serena Williams was going to dictate the outcome of Sunday's US Open final. Either she would finish off her Grand Slam season in decidely disappointing fashion, having failed to win a major for the first time since 2006, or she would dominate her good friend Caroline Wozniacki and win her third straight US Open championship.

With next-to-no-doubt, Williams chose the latter. 

In beating Wozniacki in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 -- her 21st consecutive victory at the US Open -- Williams won her 18th Grand Slam major, which ties her with legends Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, who were both on hand to congratulate her. Wozniacki, vying for her first career major, never had a chance. 

Williams battered and pummeled Wozniacki from the outset, breaking her in her first three service games of the first set. She broke Wozniacki again to begin the second and one more time to claim her sixth US Open crown. It was vintage Serena, power over any of the defensive tactics Wozniacki would use try and delay the inevitable. 

Despite her third straight victory at Flushing Meadows, she was still extremely emotional during the trophy ceremony. 

"It was a wonderful finish. [Caroline] knows the struggle I've been through. We text almost every day. ... It is a pleasure for me to win my first grand slam this year here. I couldn't do it in a better place." 

Until Sunday, Williams had exited the season's Grand Slams in the second, fourth and third rounds, respectively. Not that she needed any validation, but her 1 hour, 15 minute takedown of Wozniacki reaffirmed that she's still the top player in the world, especially after her curious exit from Wimbledon. People questioned her focus and her once overwhelming drive, but there were few questions after Sunday's performance. 

It had been a struggle for Wozniacki as well in the wake of her abrupt split with Rory McIlroy. In recent months, she's found the form that once saw her claim the No. 1 ranking. In the immediate aftermath of her split, Williams, of all people, took to her and she now calls Wozniacki her closest friend in tennis, outside of her sister. Their mutual affection was evident, even after the one-sided battle Sunday. 

"You're an inspiration on and off the court, you're an unbelievable friend and you definitely owe drinks later," Wozniacki said jokingly in front of the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium. 

Williams ran Wozniacki all over the court, amassing 29 winners to Wozniacki's four. Jitters may have played a role for her opponent as well, competing in just her second Grand Slam final, but there was nothing Wozniacki could do as her 99 mph serves continually found Williams' wheelhouse. 

No amount of stamina, trickery or compassion for Wozniacki was going to deny Williams in her quest to repeat as US Open champion. Her dominance was as overwhelming as her serve. 

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Serena Williams wins her third straight US Open and sixth overall. (Getty Images)
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