Serena and friend Wozniacki reach U.S. Open women's final

Fri Sep 5, 2014 7:32pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Serena Williams used her blazing power in a semi-finals win, while Caroline Wozniacki advanced when her opponent was felled by heat illness on Friday to set up an intriguing women's final at the U.S. Open.

Hot and humid conditions hit Flushing Meadows again and China's Peng Shuai fell victim, as she was forced to retire with Wozniacki leading 7-6(1) 4-3 on a steamy day on Arthur Ashe Stadium court.

Williams, the two-times defending champion, came on the center court next and seemed determined to spend as little time as possible in the stifling conditions and succeeded, by trouncing Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-1 6-3 in 60 minutes.

The 10th-seeded Wozniacki and unseeded Peng waged a much different battle, with the two groundstroke artists trading blows in long, energy-draining rallies.

The match was still very much in doubt with Wozniacki serving at 4-3 and facing break point when Peng suddenly grabbed her thighs and stumbled to the back wall of the center court with what appeared to be severe cramping.

In obvious distress, the 28-year-old doubles specialist was eventually helped off the court to be evaluated by doctors.

A valiant Peng, playing her first career grand slam singles semi-final, refused to quit and returned 11 minutes later.

But after six points Peng curled up in agony on the baseline, and officials called the match and Peng was lifted into a wheelchair and taken from the court to a standing ovation after the abbreviated two hour four minute battle.   Continued...

Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates winning match point against Ekaterina Makarova of Russia during their semi-final match at the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 5, 2014.     REUTERS/Adam Hunger