Serena, Woz Line up Pressure-packed (re: Choke?) US Open Women’s Final

by Staff | September 5th, 2014, 10:39 pm

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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15 Comments for Serena, Woz Line up Pressure-packed (re: Choke?) US Open Women’s Final

tennis bubble Says:

I hope we get a new champion

Margot Says:

Talking about on court behaviour, as we have..;)
Woz was a class act.
Hope she wins her first slam, but doubt it somehow.
Go Woz.

Colin Says:

At this stage in her career, predicting Serena’s result is like trying to forecast tomorrow’s weather in England.

If she is anywhere near her top level, nobody can live with her except maybe Kvitova on grass. But if she has one of those special Senior Serena Days, she could lose to a ball-kid.

Who’s going to win this final? Come back AFTER the match and I’ll give you my pick. Hell, I’ll even tell you the score!

Polo Says:

One rule about writing is that the title should be relevant to the content. Inserting “(reChoke)” was simply meant to deride Woznicki because it was not even referred to in the article. It was irrelevant and mean.

Sarah Godwin Says:

Goooooo, Serena! It would have been nice if writers had asked Woz about Serena’s skill level just as they apparently wanted Serena to give praise to Woz. The interview/article seems lopsided without that balanced view of each others’ accomplishments/ability. Serena praising Woz and other opponents without reporters printing similar or justifiably more glowing praise from opponents about Serena makes those competitors appear petty when maybe they aren’t that way.

Sarah Godwin Says:

Serena Williams was an Angel the vast majority of her career and had just One real boilover in all that time. And that’s really saying something condidering that the Williamses had been victimized by rabid racism – including an “umpire” evilly cheating Serena so brazenly and so often at the ’04 US Open vs Jennifer Capriati that it changed tennis History because Instant replay had to be instituted!

And don’t get me started on the evil at Indian Wells!

For all her hard work and for all she’s been put through, Serena Williams Deserves to make history with more Major victories!

Colin Says:

Polo, I’m not sure it isn’t a dig at Serena! A “choke” usually refers to blowing a winning lead, and surely Woz is the less likely of the two to be in that position.

the DA Says:

“It was irrelevant and mean.”


Okiegal Says:


Woz does deserve to be acknowledged for her behavior on court yesterday. Did I hear she got a sportsmanship award? She was so sweet to Peng…..felt so sorry for her to go out like that……

Okiegal Says:

@Colin……when I first saw the byline, my thought was a dig towards Serena too……but who knows what the writer meant for sure.

MMT Says:

Whoever wins the last point is the one who “deserves” to win.

In the abstract analysis, if they’re both playing at their highest level, Serena will win because she can overpower Wozniacki. However, Wozniacki does have the ability to disrupt power hitters, and she herself his hitting harder and deeper than she has in the past.

Also, power hitters can lose control of their power long enough to make trouble for themselves, if they’re nervous or sluggish or if it’s windy, or whatever. So it’s not a done deal by a long shot, but I think the pundits have it about right.

One thing I find interesting is that of all the talk about Wozniacki changing coaches and such over the last few years then returning to her father, it seems to me the biggest change in her game may have come from her equipment. She has returned to the Babolat frame she used to get to #1, after chasing the money and switching to a Yonex frame for a few years. During that period, she changed coaches like Diana Ross changes wardrobes, but the common denominator was that bloody racquet.

Also, the replay on Tennis Channel pointed out that she’s hitting her forehand 6mph faster this year than she did two years ago, and the backhand 4mph faster (although the backhand is still the stronger stroke) but the big difference is that whereas 2 years ago she was hitting 1 out of 10 groundstrokes from within the baseline, she’s bumped that up to 1 out of 5 this year.

The numbers don’t lie – she’s being more assertive, but the question is whether it will be enough against Serena this year.

I don’t think it will, but at least she’s made the final – that’s already a big improvement.

steve-o Says:

Serena hasn’t allowed any of her opponents more than 6 games per match. I don’t fancy Wozniacki’s chances.

Stosur beat her in ’11, but Stosur is a player with huge firepower and was able to simply blow Serena away. Wozniacki has no weapons, only defense. And that won’t get the job done.

RZ Says:

Why is there the assumption that one of these ladies will choke? Both are fierce competitors and aside from a few odd incidents with Serena, neither is known for choking.

Eric Says:

You obviously haven’t watched Woz play recently if you think she’s just a counterpuncher. She’s really worked on firepower this summer.

Serena is the obvious favorite, though. But Woz could have won either or both of their matches this summer, so it’s no done deal, not that anything ever is.

Wog boy Says:

It is not my day, I was going for brunettes against blondes in women doubles final and they lost…but it was nice match for the eyes;)

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