The US Open women’s final will feature the current world No. 1 in her last chance to capture a Grand Slam title in 2014, against a former No. 1 who has seen the US Open championship round before, but has never raised a Slam trophy.
BFF’s Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki will square off in the Sunday final after each won straight-set encounters on Friday.
Williams overpowered Russian Ekaterina Makarova in under an hour, crunching 24 winners in a free-flowing 6-1, 6-3 win.
“I’m just really excited to be in the final now,” said Williams who led 6-1, 5-1. “In the beginning of the week I definitely wasn’t sure that I would make it this long. Definitely wasn’t sure I’d still be here.”
Serena takes a 17-4 record in Grand Slam finals against Wozniacki, who topped Peng Shuai 7-6(1), 4-3, ret.
The Chinese player, suffering from the heat in the second set, started cramping and feeling ill and was eventually carried off the court in a wheelchair.
“It’s definitely very difficult,” Wozniacki said of the retirement win. “You’re out here and you want to battle and finish it off properly, but I just feel very sorry for Peng, because she played really well today. It’s so hot out here and I’m sorry she felt ill. I hope she’ll be okay.”
Wozniacki reappears in the final after a 2009 loss in the US Open championship match to Kim Clijsters.
“It’s been five years since I’ve been in the final here, so it’s incredible to be back,” Wozniacki said. “[Serena and I] were saying when the tournament started, we’re like, ‘Yes, we’re in separate sides of the draw, so hopefully we can meet in the finals.'”
The two faced each other twice on hardcourts this summer, with Serena winning both meetings in tight three-set encounters.
“Hopefully for me that would be third time’s the charm,” Wozniacki said.
In a poll of tennis pundits, the consensus would be that the match is on Serena’s racquet. Her play was shaky this summer, but has rounded into form at the US Open. But in a high-pressure match with a lone shot at winning a Slam in 2014 on the line, will she come out firing as she did against Makarova, or come out tight as she did against Flavia Pennetta?
“I definitely expect another close match,” Williams said of facing Wozniacki. “She really knows my game well and knows how to play. She’s so consistent. I think that’s one of the things that makes her really tough. So I just have to be ready for that and just stay calm and just be able to relax and be happy, really.”
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