Wozniacki to face Peng for US Open finals berth
AFP: Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki and first-time Grand Slam semi-finalist Peng Shuai will meet for a place in the US Open title match after dominant victories on Tuesday.
Wozniacki, the runner-up at Flushing Meadows in 2009, dismissed 13th-seeded Italian Sara Errani 6-0, 6-1 and is back in the semi-finals of a major for the first time since the 2011 US Open.
China’s Peng, in the quarter-finals of a major for the first time in her 37th attempt, made similarly short work of Swiss teen Belinda Bencic 6-2, 6-1.
Peng joined two-time Grand Slam champion Li Na and Zheng Jie as the only Chinese to reach the last four of a Grand Slam.
Wozniacki was similarly convincing on a windy night on Arthur Ashe Stadium court, where towels from the players’ chairs and stray plastic bags had to be corralled.
In a match between two players with an uncanny ability to extend rallies, Wozniacki’s 26 outright winners to the 12 of Errani made the difference.
Errani, who boasts a top-speed serve of less than 90 mph (144.84 Km/h) couldn’t hold once in six service games.
She was unable to capitalize on any of four break points in the opening game of the match and after fighting for that hold Wozniacki was rolling.
Errani did break Wozniacki to open the second set, but with the Italian unable to protect her own serve it was immaterial, and the Dane wrapped things up in 65 minutes.
Wozniacki toppled former champion Maria Sharapova in the fourth round, while Errani’s run had included a third-round win over seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams as upsets saw only two of the top 10 seeds reach the last eight.
Peng, ranked 39th, ploughed through three seeded players to reach the quarters, including fourth-seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwanska.
She is the only woman besides two-time defending champion Serena Williams who has yet to drop a set in a tournament in which Williams and 10th-seeded Wozniacki are the only players remaining from the top 10 seeds.