AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki continued their progress in the doubles at the ASB Classic with an impressive victory over top seeds Caroline Dolehide and Johanna Larsson.
The duo has teamed up for the first time in New Zealand, with Wozniacki making a rare appearance on the doubles court as she prepares to make her bow from professional tennis after the Australian Open.
"I'm happy to have my second win in 10 years in doubles!" she joked in her on-court interview. "But I've got the best partner."
They wasted little time in claiming the first set, taking it in only 25 minutes, while the second proved to be just as one sided as they sealed a 6-2, 6-1 victory in 51 minutes.
A rapid start to the match helped to underpin their dominance, with the unseeded pairing winning all of the first three points to craft a succession of break points. Although the first three were missed, at deuce they were able to close the game out.
All of the first four games went the way of the American-Danish combination, the highlight of which was a fine Wozniacki lob to seal the second.
Their opponents were able to rally towards the end of the set, but only to the extent that they were finally able to get on the board.
When Dolehide held serve in the first game of the second, it seemed to suggest that it may prove to be more competitive, but that was not the case.
Serena continued to anchor the team with her power and accuracy, but it was Wozniacki’s clever lob that was critical in breaking the Larsson serve.
A brilliant pass from 14-time major champion in doubles onto the outside of the tramline was followed by an intelligent shot down the middle that wrought a double break, and an outrageous crosscourt in the following game confirmed that she was starting to peak as the climax of the match approached.
When faced with a decisive point on her serve, she slammed down an ace to push her team out to a 5-1 advantage.
Larsson’s serve was rapidly broken once more to seal the win and a semifinal against either No.3 seeds Desirae Krawczyk and Laura Siegemund or the Belgian duo of Kirsten Flipkens and Alison Van Uytvanck.