World No 1 Williams beats Ekaterina Makarova, while Wozniacki through to US Open final after Peng Shuai retires
New York: Serena Williams will fight for an 18th Grand Slam title against Caroline Wozniacki after sweeping past Ekaterina Makarova 6-1, 6-3 on Friday to reach the US Open final.
Serena Williams celebrates her semi-final win over Ekaterina Makarova on Friday. Pic/AFP
World No 1 Williams, winner of the past two titles at Flushing Meadows and five overall, will try to match Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova on 18 career major titles when she faces her good friend Wozniacki today.
The 10th-seeded Dane was leading 7-6 (7/1), 4-3 when China's Peng Shuai dramatically retired from their semi-final with heat related illness. Peng was taken from the court in a wheelchair as Wozniacki, leading 7-6 (7/1), 4-3, was declared the victor.
Wozniacki, who shocked five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova in the fourth round, is back in a Grand Slam final for the first time since losing in the 2009 US Open final to Kim Clijsters. "It's incredible to be in the final, I have goosebumps," she said.
Despite her 17 major wins, Williams, too, was overjoyed to return to the final, having failed to make it out of the fourth round at any major so far this year.
Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark returns to Peng Shuai on Friday. Pic/Getty Images
"Oh my God, it feels so good," said Williams, who sank almost to her knees screaming "Yes!" when Makarova pushed a last forehand wide. "I'm so happy, you have no idea."
No drama for Serena
There was no drama — or suspense — for Williams. After Makarova had held her first service game for 1-1 in the opening set, Williams won the next nine games, turning up the volume to finish with 24 winners. Serena needed exactly one hour to subdue 17th-seeded Makarova.