Serena Williams flies into final of ASB Classic in Auckland
Last Updated: 11/01/20 11:15am
Serena Williams raced into the final of the ASB Classic in Auckland after securing a straight-sets victory over teenager Amanda Anisimova.
Williams converted all five of her break points to record a 6-1 6-1 victory over the 18-year-old in just 43 minutes.
Anisimova, who wasn't born when Williams won her first Grand Slam title said on Friday that it had been a life-long dream to play against her.
However, the 18-year-old wouldn't have imagined the encounter going the way that it did in Auckland.
Williams gave the third-seed little opportunity to get into the match and was just too powerful for Anisimova, who had no answer to the pace, depth and angles of her returns and service game.
I was definitely in the zone today and it was one of those days. I knew I was playing a really great player so I knew that I had to come out serious.
The American is also in the doubles final on Sunday with good friend Caroline Wozniacki, who had her own hopes of a first Auckland title ended by Jessica Pegula 3-6 6-4 6-0 in the earlier semi-final.
Wozniacki has been ever-present at the tournament since 2015 but is retiring after the Australian Open later this month.
She had lost her two previous finals in Auckland, to Venus Williams in 2015 and Julia Goerges in 2018.
"Caroline has had an amazing career and I'm glad that I got to play her before she retired. But, I am just happy to get the win and am excited to be in the final," Pegula said.
"I definitely knew that if I played defensively, I wasn't going to win that battle, because she is the best in the world at that. I knew I had to step in, take my chances and trust my game."
At the Brisbane International Madison Keys came from a set and a break down to seal her place in the final.
The eighth seed won nine of 10 games during her mid-match recovery to go on and knock out former champion Petra Kvitova 3-6 6-2 6-3.
Keys will face Karolina Pliskova for the title after she came through a marathon last-four clash with Naomi Osaka.
Pliskova saved a match point to take a 6-7 (10-8) 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 win in two hours and 48 minutes at the Pat Rafter Arena. The Czech player served eight of her 15 aces in the final set.
At the Shenzhen Open, Ekaterina Alexandrova became the first WTA Tour champion of the new decade after she saw off Elena Rybakina.
The fifth seed took a convincing 6-2 6-4 victory to wrap up her first WTA title and extend her winning streak to 10 matches.
Alexandrova lost just one set in Shenzhen and was playing in only her second WTA Tour final, her first was back in Linz in 2018.