02 Aug 2012

Day 6: Serena powers into semis


Photo: Eisele/Giubilo/ZimmerSerena Williams (USA)

LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN: Serena Williams overwhelmed Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki 60 63 in a commanding quarterfinal performance which hands her a semifinal showdown with world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka.

Wozniacki, a former world No.1, served well below her best and could find no answer to Williams's accurate power hitting. After the whitewash of set one the Dane regrouped slightly in the second set, but the outcome never seemed in doubt as Williams broke in the fourth game and served it out in 1 hour 17 minutes.

The Wimbledon champion has lost just 13 games in her four matches en route to the semifinals to cement her status as favourite to win her first Olympic singles gold medal. "No matter what happens I am in a medal round now so I'm excited,” Williams said. It's definitely a big change to go from playing indoor on Centre Court to outdoors (on Court No.1) where it's super, super windy, so you have to adjust."

Williams led the head-to-head with Wozniacki 4-1 coming into the match, but today proved to be the most decisive victory yet for the American in their first meeting on grass. She broke the Wozniacki serve at the first opportunity after a long rally which she nailed with a high forehand volley, and got on a roll from there to shut the Dane out for the remainder of the set, breaking again in the fourth and sixth games.

Wozniacki raised her game a notch to make the second set more competitive, and when she saved a break point on her serve in the second game with a delicate volley that Williams couldn’t reach in time, the crowd who had been stunned into silence in the first set cheered wildly. But two games later Wozniacki was in trouble again, and although she dug deep and saved three break points, she succumbed on her fourth when the American sent a forehand past her down the line to lead 4-1.

The Danish eighth seed managed to hold on to her serve for the rest of the match, even winning to love when serving to stay in the match at 2-5, but it was too little too late and Williams pounced in the next game, sealing her victory with a backhand winner.

Williams has dominated in all of her matches so far, scoring straight-sets wins over Jelena Jankovic 63 61, Urszula Radwanska 62 63 and No. 13 seed Vera Zvonareva 61 60 before today’s demolition of Wozniacki, and has lost the fewest games of any woman left in the singles draw. She has yet to win a gold medal in singles but already owns two doubles gold medals with sister Venus. The pair are in quarterfinal doubles action at the All England Club later today.

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  • Serena Williams (USA)Serena Williams (USA)
  • Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)Serena Williams (USA)
  • Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)Serena Williams (USA)
  • Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)Serena Williams (USA)