Serena sets up US Open final with Stosur


Three-time champion Serena Williams stormed past world number one Carolie Wozniacki on Saturday to set up a showdown with Samantha Stosur in what promises to be an emotional US Open women’s final. Williams, a 13-time Grand Slam champion, said she was thrilled to have a chance to represent America as the country commemorates the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks — an outrage that resonates in New York where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed.
“Especially with 9-11, it really meant a lot to me to come out here as an American and still be here and still be in the tournament,” Williams said after mauling the top-seeded Wozniacki 6-2, 6-4. The final will be preceded by a ceremony remembering the victims and honoring the efforts of rescue workers in the catastrophe. “I really wanted to get to the final,” Williams said. “Everything that New York and America went through. It’s hard to believe it has been 10 years.” Stosur, the 2010 French Open runner-up, reached the second Grand Slam final of her career with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 victory over unseeded German Angelique Kerber. Williams sent Wozniacki packing from yet another major, her 34 winners, including 11 aces, never giving the Dane a look-in. Despite her world number one ranking, Wozniacki’s best Grand Slam performance remains her 2009 runner-up finish to Kim Clijsters at Flushing Meadows. Williams, in contrast, will be seeking a 14th Grand Slam title and her first since Wimbledon in 2010. That victory was followed by a litany of health problems, starting with a cut foot that required surgery and including blood clots in her lungs. “I really feel like I don’t have anything to lose,” Williams said. “I’ve beaten all odds. Six months ago I was in the hospital.” The drop in her ranking caused by her 11-month layoff led to her lowly seeding here. Although she had shown she was ready to challenge with two hardcourt titles in the build-up to the US Open, Williams’ joy was evident in her spinning leap of celebration. “It has been such an arduous long road and I can’t believe it, I really can’t,” said Williams, who beat Stosur in the final at Toronto for one of her two titles this summer. Stosur at least has the comfort of knowing she has beaten Williams twice, including in the quarter-finals of the French Open last year when Stosur saved a match point en route to her victory. “That’s a big confidence booster, to know that I have been able to do it in a major tournament,” Stosur said. “But every tournament is new, and she has obviously been playing extremely well.” Stosur and Kerber played on the Grandstand Court, the number three show court at Flushing Meadows, as organisers scrambled to complete both the men’s and women’s semi-finals on Saturday at the rain-hit event. Stosur was irked at the scheduling, although she admitted she enjoyed the more intimate atmosphere of the Grandstand and in fact was lucky to have her match over and done with before Williams and Wozniacki were even able to take the court at 10pm on the Arthur Ashe Stadium. “Obviously that hasn’t turned out the way they wanted it,” Stosur said of the schedule. “But it’s a final so everyone’s going to be out there as ready as anyone can be.” After the pounding she took from Williams, Wozniacki wasn’t betting against the American, even in a match against another big-hitter like Stosur. “I still think Serena has the edge, and I still think that Serena will win tomorrow,” Wozniacki said.