Seventeen-year-old Serena Williams posted an historic Grand Slam triumph last night as she overpowered world number one Martina Hingis 6-3 7-6 to win the U.S. Open women's singles title. The seventh-seeded Williams became the first black woman to win a Grand Slam singles crown since American Althea Gibson claimed the U.S. championship 41 years ago and the first black American to win a major title since Arthur Ashe won Wimbledon in 1975. The 17-year-old seventh seed shrugged off the loss of two match points, to prevent Hingis from claiming the second set and then preserved her perfect 1999 record in tiebreakers to win 6-3, 7-6 (7/4). Her triumph brought an official message of congratulation from US President Bill Clinton.

In the men's semi-finals second seed Andre Agassi (USA) beat third seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov (Rus) 1-6 6-3 6-3 6-3. Agassi takes over Pete Sampras’ mantle as world number 1 with Kafelnikov moving to second place. Agassi will play Todd Martin in the final. In the women's doubles semi-final Serena Williams pocketed another title with her sister Venus. They beat Mary Pierce and Barbara Schett (Fra/Aut) 7-6 (7/2) 6-3.