U.S. Open: Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, who's No. 1?
After Caroline Wozniacki, ranked No. 1 in the world, lost her U.S. Open semifinal match Saturday night, 6-2, 6-4, to 29th-ranked Serena Williams, Wozniacki was firm in her belief that her computer ranking is well-deserved.
"I'm still No. 1 in the world," the 21-year-old said. "I'm No. 1 in the race [for the season-ending ranking]. No one can take that away from me for now. I still think Serena played unbelievable today and she's a great champion."
With that said, Wozniacki said it would be hard to figure out now how to beat Williams.
"There's no one on the tour who is playing with as much power as she is and serving as well as she is," Wozniacki said. "Today she was just better than me. I have to accept that and just go back on the practice court and try to improve a few things and then try again next time. Serena has the power to overpower us."
Usually it's impossible to get a just-eliminated athlete from a major tennis tournament to pick a winner in the next match, but Wozniacki has her pick for Sunday's final between Williams and ninth-seeded Samantha Stosur. "Samantha definitely would have to serve well," Wozniacki said. "She definitely needs to get a lot of first serves in and serve well and try just to go for her shots.
"But I still think Serena has the edge and I still think Serena will win."
Williams said she is looking forward to the Sunday final. "I'm definitely a little bit excited," she said. "I really feel like I don't have anything to lose. I have beaten all odds. You know, six months ago I was in the hospital and now I'm in the final."
It was last February when Williams was hospitalized for a pulmonary embolism and that came after she had missed almost six months of tennis because of injuries to her feet caused by stepping on glass in a restaurant after the 2010 Wimbledon final.
Williams said that whatever happens in Sunday's final, she feels as if she has triumphed.
"I have just been a champion for everyone out there who are fighting against all odds...staying positive."
Williams also applauded Wozniacki's persistence Saturday night.
"I felt like she was never far off," Williams said. "She never gave up. I'd be up 40-0 in a game and she'd come back. I'd be up 30-love and she'd end up winning the game. The first set was over 42 minutes [46 actually], so it was definitely intense."
During a changeover in the first set, after Williams had taken a 4-1 lead, she called for a trainer who checked Williams' right foot. Williams said it was a tendon problem. "It was a little tight," she said. "I just got a little nervous. I was just, like, I can't be in a cast. But it was okay."
- Diane Pucin in New York
Left photo: Caroline Wozniacki reacts during her semifinal match against Serena Williams on Saturday. Credit: Elise Amendola / Associated Press
Right photo: Serena Williams is overjoyed after winning her semifinal match against Caroline Wozniacki on Saturday. Credit: Charles Krupa / Associated Press