Saturday, September 10, 2011
Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki Battle In U.S. Open Semifinals
Caroline Wozniacki  vs. Serena Williams 
Now that Caroline Wozniacki is playing tennis worthy of her No. 1 ranking again, her semifinal match-up with Serena Williams has become the highlight pre-final match of the women’s draw. Wozniacki has been No. 1 for almost a year now, but she has yet to win her first Grand Slam event (it’s not an enormous failing; she’s only 21). Serena, by contrast, is ranked a lowly No. 27, but she’s acclaimed as one of the greatest women players of all time and has bagged 13 major titles.
Wozniacki has a great talent for maneuvering her opponents out of position and wearing them down. And in the past few weeks, her forehand has become more of a weapon. By contrast, Serena likes to end points quickly—her serve can be devastating, and her groundstrokes so penetrating that they pin her opponents back in hopeless positions. This match will be decided by which woman manages to make the other adopt her game. If it becomes a slugfest, Serena wins. If Wozniacki can turn it into baseline duel, she has a great chance. —Peter Bodo
Peter Bodo's Pick: Wozniacki. Wozniacki’s back is up against the wall; she needs that first major title in a big way to back up her No. 1 ranking. After losing in one final and one semifinal here in the two previous years, it’s her time.
Steve Tignor's Pick: Williams. This is Williams’ event to lose, but if anyone can make her do that, it’s Wozniacki. These two once played to a third-set tiebreaker, and Wozniacki has been at her best in Flushing. Still, the match will be on Serena’s racquet.
Ed McGrogan's Pick: Williams. You could argue that this is Wozniacki’s final, and she should treat it as such. Her offense needs to be as sharp as her defense, and an off-night from Serena wouldn’t hurt. Even if all that happens, it still might not be enough.