On her best behaviour but struggling to subdue an opponent seven years her junior, Williams provided an everlasting reminder of her incredible fighting qualities as she became the tournament's oldest women's champion in nearly four decades.
Already one of the greatest players to grace the game, the American's longevity adds new credence to her place in the sport's pantheon with Sunday's victory coming almost 13 years to the day she won her first U.S. Open as a teenager in 1999.
"I don't consider myself the greatest," she said.
"I just consider myself a tennis player who's trying to do the best I can."
Image: Serena Williams holds the championship trophy after beating Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, in the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. Two points from defeat, Williams suddenly regained her composure to come back and win the last four games, beating No. 1-ranked Azarenka 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 on Sunday for her fourth U.S. Open title and 15th Grand Slam title overall.
US Open 2012