Williams held serve and pulled to 5-4. Victoria Azarenka was serving in the next game and needed just two points to win, before Williams rebounded and won the next three games to defeat the top-ranked player in the world, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.
It’s Williams’ 15th major title, capping a season that also saw a victory at Wimbledon and two Olympic gold medals.
It was far from an easy victory, as Williams struggled throughout the match.
Obviously I would have wanted to win easy,” she said afterward. “But at the same time, this is more exciting to win because you don't really know what's coming. You don't know what to expect, and then you get it.”
For Azarenka, being so close to victory was obviously a disappointment.
“Being so close, it hurts deeply to know you don't have it,” she said. “You're close, you didn't get it. But at this moment, you know, I have no regrets. I felt like I gave it all there.”
Azarenka said she had a feeling that Williams was on the verge of mounting a comeback.
“Well, there was no other choice for her to do, so, yeah, in the back of my mind I had that coming,” she said. “So that maybe was a little bit of hesitation for me.”
This was the second Grand Slam final Azarenka found herself in this year. She beat Maria Sharapova, who she also knocked out of the 2012 U.S. Open, in the Australian Open earlier this year.