For the second consecutive week, Serena Williams and good friend Caroline Wozniacki squared off with similar results.
Williams defeated the Danish star in a three set semifinal at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on Saturday with a score of 2-6, 6-2, 6-2. A week ago at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, Williams also lost the first set but would go on to win the match in three sets as well.
“In Montréal there were games where she aced me three times in a row, and I was like, ‘Okay, next game.’ But I felt like I got more returns back this time,” Wozniacki said. “I just didn’t serve well myself today. I didn’t get many first serves in. When I did, they weren’t placed very well. It’s frustrating, because you lose a match 6-4 in the third and you only hold serve once in the third set. I actually broke Serena three times in the set, too – I don’t think that really happens very often to her, either.
“I felt like my game was there. I was fighting. I was running. I was trying to take the ball early. I was returning well. Then my serve comes around and I can’t seem to hold serve. It’s frustrating.”
“I got off to a little bit of a slow start, but I was definitely in it,” Williams said when the match ended. “I was just physically grinding and trying to get in there and really just trying to grind out everything.
“She’s a really good returner and she was getting everything back, and making some good shots. It wasn’t just on the return, she was able to play some really good points after the return too. She’s playing great tennis, even better than what she’s been playing in the last couple years, taking that defense and adding a lot of offense to it and going for her shots. She does both really well.”
Williams has not won this Premier-level event yet and this would be her sixth attempt in doing so. By virtue of reaching the final, the American also sealed the US Open Series title and will now have a chance to play for a record payout at the US Open which begins in less than two weeks’ time.