Caroline Wozniacki, 24, is eight years younger than Serena Williams, but the two are very good friends on and off the court. Yet the American has dominated the Dane in their matches going back to 2009. Williams has lost just once to Wozniacki, in Miami in 2012. That doesn’t mean that Wozniacki hasn’t played her friend tough, though: four of their nine encounters have gone the distance, and the Dane has won six sets against Serena.
But she has only once managed to break through, which has been the knock against her. Though Wozniacki ended the season ranked No. 1 in 2010 and 2011 and has won 22 titles in her career, she has never been able to win a major. Her best result is the 2009 final at the US Open. Serena, of course, has had no trouble at the business end of Grand Slams. She has notched 17 Slam titles, including five at the US Open – where she is going for her third consecutive championship.
Both women have come into the US Open playing some of the best tennis of their careers. Since a disappointing loss in the third round at Wimbledon to Alize Cornet, Williams has been on a roll, winning at Stanford and Cincinnati and reaching the final at Montreal (where she lost to her sister Venus). She has won 11 straight matches. Wozniacki won the title in Istanbul and reached the semifinals in Cincinnati and the quarterfinals in Montreal. However, in both of those tournaments, she lost to Serena.
Wozniacki has worked hard to add offensive punch to her game, which is built on her movement and retrieving. To get to the final is an excellent achievement for the 10th seed, whom many had written off in terms of contending for majors. Of course, no one on tour has the firepower of Williams. If she is on, Williams is likely to win plenty of free points on her serve, push Wozniacki around the court and pounce on the Dane’s weaker second serve.
The American also has the big mental advantage: she is the Queen of Queens here in Flushing Meadows. When the title is on the line, she is money: Serena has only lost four times in 21 Grand Slam finals. It’s very hard to argue with those results.