Western and Southern Open: Serena Williams edges Caroline Wozniacki to reach final
Last Updated: 18/08/14 12:14pm
Serena Williams fought back from a slow start to beat Caroline Wozniacki 2-6 6-2 6-4 and reach the final of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.
The top seed and world No 1 stayed on course for her second tournament win of the North American hard-court swing after clinching her eighth victory in nine meetings with Wozniacki - and she will play Ana Ivanovic, conquerer of Maria Sharapova, in Sunday's final.
I gave all that I had in me today. I didn't expect to do this well over the summer. I knew I needed matches so I entered three tournaments. But I'm still here
Both players struggled mightily on serve, leading to a total of 15 breaks in the 26 games, but it was Williams who managed to edge a back-and-forth deciding set.
The first five games of the third set all went against the serve and the pair also traded breaks later on before the veteran American emerged with the victory.
"I was feeling tired today, so in the second set I just told myself to hit big serves," Williams said.
"I gave all that I had in me today. I didn't expect to do this well over the summer. I knew I needed matches so I entered three tournaments. But I'm still here."
Williams has never taken the title in Cincinnati, coming closest last year when she lost a final-set tie-break in the final against Victoria Azarenka.
The 32-year-old will next play Ivanovic after she triumphed 6-2 5-7 7-5 in a see-saw second semi-final against Maria Sharapova.
Ivanovic actually led by a set and 5-2 but fell victim to a bout of nerves with the finishing line in sight, allowing her Russian opponent to rally back from the brink of defeat and force a decider.
Sharapova then led 4-2 in the third but Ivanovic - who had needed to be seen by the doctor during the second game, the Serbian receiving treatment as she laid down on the sidelines - came storming back to clinch victory.
"It was just a matter of a couple points," Sharapova said afterwards. "There were certainly a lot of ups and downs. I wasn't happy with that."