Serena Williams
Williams crushed friend Wozniacki in New York.Getty Images/STAN HONDA

World No.1 Serena Williams climed to second on the all-time female grand slam winners list after clinching an 18th major title with a crushing win over Caroline Wozniacki at Flushing Meadows.

Williams took a record-equaling sixth title in New York with a 6-3 6-3 victory over Wozniacki, whose wait for a major title goes on.

The 32 year old moves into joint second on the all-time list of female grand slam singles champions in the open era alongside Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova and is only behind Steffi Graf, who lies on 22 career titles.

While both players had a close relationship off the court, on the court the chasm between two couldn't have been greater, with Williams playing in her 22nd major final while Wozniacki took her place in just her second and first since 2009.

Though Williams was chasing history in front of a partisan crowd in New York, Wozniacki in reaching just her second tour final since splitting from golfer Rory McIlroy had defeated 2006 champion Maria Sharapova and had run the American close twice in 2014.

But that recent form counted for little as the Dane first spurned a break point chance in a loose opening Williams service game before breaking herself for a 2-0 lead.

That started a run of five successive breaks as neither player settled during a scrappy start to the final but when Williams completed just the second hold of the first set as she began to dictate the rallies, she took a firm grip of the match.

Wozniacki saved a set point on her serve as Williams went long with a running back hand but the 17-time major champion didn't have to wait long to take the lead in the match, taking the opening set 6-3.

With eyes on drawing level with Evert as the joint most successful female singles player in US Open history, Williams broke Wozniacki in the opening game of the second set as she honed in on the title.

And without offering a glimmer of hope to Wozniacki, Williams clung onto her early advantage and completed the straight sets win in little over an hour, converting the first of two championship points, to further etch her name in tennis history.