Then in a reversal of play, Williams controlled most rallies in set two and broke serve three times to take the set at love.
However Stephens scored a break of serve in the opening game of set three after Williams struck a double fault followed by three groundstroke errors.
In her opening service game of the set, Stephens recovered from 15-40 following several additional errors from Williams.
Then with Stephens serving at gamepoint, Williams struck a down the line backhand wide to end a 23 shot rally and trail 0-2.
Down 0-2 in the final set, Williams stuck several powerful serves and groundstrokes to win three games in a row to lead 3-2.
Stephens would again recover from 15-40 and hold serve to level the set at 3 all following two Williams forehand errors.
Then serving at 3 all deuce, Williams netted a down the line forehand before netting a down the line forehand volley to drop serve and trail 3-4.
Serving down breakpoint, Stephens struck a 62 miles per hour serve which Williams attached with a powerful inside out crosscourt forehand return which forced Stephens into a backhand error and a service break with the set again level at 4 all.
Williams then held serve to lead 5-4 before taking a 30-15 lead in Stephens’ service game and come within two points from winning the match.
However Stephens would take the final three games of the set after winning 6 of the last 7 points from Williams’ errors after two hours and seven minutes of play.