WTA Rogers Cup: Serena Williams sees off threat of Caroline Wozniacki to reach semis
Last Updated: 09/08/14 1:00pm
World No 1 Serena Williams claimed a hard-fought 4-6 7-5 7-5 victory over Caroline Wozniacki on Friday to set up a semi-final against sister Venus of the Rogers Cup in Montreal.
Williams, who lifted her third Canadian crown last year when the tournament was held in Toronto, battled back from a set and a break down to stretch her career head-to-head record over the 13th-ranked Dane to 7-1.
Wozniacki, a former world No 1 who is seeded 11th, claimed her only victory over the US star in the quarter-finals at Miami in 2012.
As she has in many of her recent matches, Williams made a slovenly start against Wozniacki and the Dane was soon up 6-4 4-2.
With the aid of an improved serve -- which yielded a total of 15 aces in the match, Williams began to assert herself.
Wozniacki twice recovered a break in the third set before Williams finally closed out the match after two hours and 41 minutes.
Venus then stepped on court looking to follow up her hard-fought win over sixth seed Angelique Kerber, and there were signs of a hangover from that outing in a collapse from 4-3 up in the opening set to a set and a break down.
But she responded well by winning 10 of the next 11 games to set up a 4-6 6-2 6-3 win in two hours and 11 minutes.
"I have to play well. That's pretty much it," Venus said of her 25th career meeting with her sister, who leads the head-to-head record 14-10.
I definitely don't like playing her - I think I've lost to her more than anyone else on the tour. (But) I definitely feel great when I see her playing so well.
Serena on Venus
"There's no secret or science to it. I think anyone who has gotten any wins against her, they've pretty much played the match of their life."
Serena added: "I definitely don't like playing her - I think I've lost to her more than anyone else on the tour. (But) I definitely feel great when I see her playing so well."
In the other semi-final, Agnieszka Radwanska will take on unseeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova aiming to get revenge for her Wimbledon elimination.
Third seed Radwanska exploited the travails of Victoria Azarenka - the eighth seed's heavily strapped right knee slowing her down badly, although an erratic performance had left her in trouble in any case.
The Pole broke three times in each set to win 6-2 6-2 in an hour and five minutes, with Azarenka virtually unable to break into a run from midway through the second set.
Makarova ended the run of American qualifier Coco Vandeweghe, who had accounted for former world number ones Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic in her previous two rounds.
The Russian broke serve three times in the first set and, after being pegged back in the second, stormed through the decider to win 6-1 4-6 6-1.