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  Sunday, 9 September, 2001, 02:36 GMT 03:36 UK
Venus retains US Open crown
Venus Williams and Serena Williams
Venus (left) was in awesome form against Serena
US Open final

V Williams (US) bt S Williams (US)
6-2 6-4

Venus Williams took just over an hour to defeat sister Serena and retain her US Open crown in front of a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Venus, the elder of the two sisters, was always on top during the match, with Serena guilty of a number of unforced errors.

Serena, the 1999 champion, had her serve broken twice in the first set and three times in the second.

To her credit, though, she fought back well after the disappointment of the opening set to break Venus on two occasions.

But Serena's moments of joy were shortlived in front of an excited crowd, as Venus bounced back and held her nerve to win the US Open crown for the second year in succession.

Serena Williams
Serena faced an uphill struggle following the first set

After the 100-strong Harlem choir lifted the roof of the Arthur Ashe Stadium and Diana Ross sang a rendition of God Bless America, the Williams sisters final began in earnest.

Both players had a similar game on the hard court - powerful baseline strokes and strong serves coupled with superb stamina.

There were two factors, however, that separated them.

Venus, adopted a mature and patient approach, whereas 1999 champion Serena seemed to panic by wanting to play a winner with every one of her returns.

The game was going to serve in the opening four games of the first set.

But Serena's rush of adrenalin in the fifth was the trigger for her epic downfall.

A double fault and two unforced errors handed Venus break point, which she duly took.


Venus held firm to take her service game before breaking her sister again in the seventh, with Serena double-faulting at the crucial point.

The 1999 champion, Venus, went on to win the set, and followed it up by breaking Serena in the opening game of the second set.

It was embarrassing for Serena, who failed to win a single point in the game.

But she was beginning to find the angles for a number of glorious winners, and was rewarded in the third game - winning to love.

Venus returns to Serena at the US Open final
The Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd were treated to a number of thrilling rallies

Serena finally managed to dent the Venus charge, by fighting back from 30-0 down to break her sister courtesy of a forehand error.

There followed four games which delighted and left the sell-out crowd gasping with delight.

Venus broke back after taking her sister to deuce, only for Serena to return the unwanted compliment.

Cracks were beginning to show in the 2000 champion's armour, but if there is one thing that Venus is renowned for, is resilience.

Serena held firm to win her service game in the seventh and Venus followed that up, winning a nervy eighth.

The defining moment of the match came in the following game when double-faults and unforced errors led to Venus going 40-0 up on Serena's serve.

Although Serena saved one, Venus did not spurn the other two, taking the second with a vicious forehand volley.

Venus served for the match and needed only one championship point to secure the title. She got it as a result of yet another unforced error from Serena.

BBC tennis correspondent Iain Carter
"The match was too-one sided to be a classic"
US Open winner Venus Williams
"If I had played another opponent I would be a lot more joyful"
Serena Williams
"It was tough out there"
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