World No. 1 Serena Williams clinched the 2014 Emirates Airline US Open Series Women’s title Saturday by defeating Caroline Wozniacki, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4, in the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.
Williams has now won the Emirates Airline US Open Series women’s title three of the last four years and will attempt to set another record for the largest payout in tennis history at the US Open, at $4 million ($3 million for winning the US Open and a $1 million bonus for winning the US Open as Emirates Airline US Open Series champion).
The two-time defending US Open champion Williams won both the Emirates Airline US Open Series title and the US Open last year, taking home a record $3.6 million – $2.6 million for winning the US Open and an additional $1 million as Emirates Airline US Open Series Champion. She is the only player, man or woman, to win the Emirates Airline US Open Series Bonus Challenge three times (2011, 2013-14). No other woman has won it more than once.
Williams now has 370 Bonus Challenge points because of the new provision that rewards players who earn points in at least three Series events – she also won the title at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Calif., and reached the semifinals at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. She outpaces all of her competitors in Cincinnati as well as those playing in next week’s Connecticut Open in New Haven, Conn.
The women’s second- and third-place finishers in this year’s bonus challenge have yet to be determined.