"I dug myself in a big hole". That's when Williams, down a set to her then 20-year-old opponent, lost her cool over being called for a series of code violations - first for receiving coaching, then for smashing her racket, then for calling the chair umpire a "thief" because he "stole" a point from her with the second call.
"Feels wonderful. A Grand Slam is a Grand Slam", Soares said.
Williams has reached the finals in four Grand Slam events since her return from maternity leave but has lost all four, including the U.S. Open final in 2018 and again in 2019.
The match was being played under the Arthur Ashe roof, with storms forecast in NY, and, as the rain hammered down, Osaka forged ahead in the decider.
Azarenka was determined that history would not repeat itself.
The final a match-up between one of the game's young stars, going from strength to strength, and a veteran whose career is rejuvenated after several years in the doldrums.
"I regretfully must withdraw from The Internazionali BNL d'Italia due to an Achilles strain", Williams, a four-times victor in Rome, said in a statement.
"I've been there before. Today was gonna be different", Azarenka said.
Williams' presence at the rescheduled French Open, which starts on September 21, had been in doubt after she said earlier this week that she was undecided about whether to play. She's 0-4 in finals since then, including last year's loss to Andreescu. She is playing an aggressive game and looks a well-oiled machine.
"I made a lot more errors". But Williams broke back, converting her first break point opportunity. Still, she will have to wait for the 19th triumph over the Belarus player who has been on fire in the last three weeks, winning the title in Cincinnati and advancing into the fifth Major final on the same courts at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Victoria Azarenka wants her US Open semifinal victory over her friend and fellow mum Serena Williams to inspire women to keep chasing their dreams post-childbirth.
It's a rematch of the final of the warmup Western & Southern Open, which was also played on the site of the US Open as part of the tournament's bubble during the coronavirus pandemic. But she's about seven years removed from her prime and is now ranked 27th in the world.
From a moneyline perspective, my prices are nearly exactly in line with the WTA tennis odds, so it's tough to find much room for maneuver in that department.
"I started taking more responsibility for what I do, for what happens to me, and responsibility of how I'm going to react to situations".
Naomi Osaka and Victoria Azarenka are both looking to capture a third grand slam title as they clash in the final of the US Open. "I think seven years ago, after I won the Australian Open ... it was kind of expected for me to be in the final", she said.
"I've just got to be a little bit better, really, and just expect people to go lights out and just be ready for lights out", Williams said.