Venus Overpowers Wozniacki In SFs
Published February 21, 2014 12:14
Williams had won all four of the pair's previous meetings in straight sets but they hadn't played in almost six years - but that didn't seem to make any difference whatsoever, as Williams fired from all cylinders - serves, groundstrokes, net - to dominate the No.8-seeded Dane in an hour and 21 minutes.
"It was kind of uphill today," Wozniacki said. "In the beginning I felt like she was dictating almost everything and making just a few mistakes, so that kind of got me a couple of games. Then towards the end of the first set and in the second set we had some longer rallies, and I was stepping my game up a little bit, but then she did as well. She played well and was very steady and kept her head cool.
"She played a good match - I started off very slow, and once I got going it was too late."
Williams is now through to her biggest final in almost four years - since Madrid in May 2010 - but more importantly it's her biggest final since her seven-month Sjögren's Syndrome lay-off between August 2011 and March 2012. And at one of her favorite tournaments, too - she has won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships the last two times she's played it and has now won 14 straight matches here.
"Caroline is an intense competitor," Williams said of her fellow former World No.1. "She has been since the very first match I played her in 2007, seven years ago - she's reached the pinnacle of the game and so she knows what she's doing. So it feels really good for me to be able to get that win today."
Over the last year Williams had been to some semifinals and one final earlier this year in Auckland, but it has been a while since she's looked this strong - and she says it's all been a learning process.
"I feel like I've just gotten so much better since my first round to now, feeling comfortable on the court, feeling comfortable when I'm behind, feeling comfortable when I'm in the lead. It reminds me of when I first came on tour, just having to learn a lot, and I feel like I'm learning those lessons all over again.
"I had a lot of tough losses, and I realized I had to go through it," Williams continued. "I felt like every time I got better. Even if I didn't necessarily get the result I wanted, I realized I was getting better.
"For me, and for every player, you just have to keep stepping up to the line and believing in yourself."