NEW YORK (Reuters) - Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki said nerves and a slow start cost her any chance of beating Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final on Sunday.
The former world number one was out-hit and outplayed by the American, who won 6-3 6-3 to seal her sixth U.S. Open and her 18th grand slam singles title.
“I went out there and I was a little nervous,” Wozniacki said. “I had a game plan in mind, but it was kind of difficult at the start.
“I tried to push her back, but that really didn't work for me. She really just stepped in and she was playing aggressive. She was playing better than me today."
Both raised their level in the second set, but Wozniacki said," it was just a little too late for me.
“She was very aggressive from the start. So she didn't really let me dictate it the way I wanted to.”
Williams had failed to make it to the quarter-finals of any of the first three grand slams of the year but Wozniacki said that may have played in the American's favor on Sunday.
“I think she wanted to prove to herself and even play better in this one and she ended up winning it,” she said.
“Unfortunately I was the one on the other side of the net today. I would have liked maybe to have more of a chance today, but I didn't. Hopefully I'll get another one in Australia.”
Having beaten Maria Sharapova and Sara Errani on her way to her first grand slam final since she was runner-up to Kim Clijsters in New York in 2009, Wozniacki went into the final with high hopes.
But after dropping her opening service game she was always playing catch-up.
“When she's on her game there's not much we can do,” Wozniacki said. “She's so strong. She has a good serve and she puts pressure on you straightaway.
“When she needs to she can pull out that big serve. She has the power. She can push us back on the court and take the initiative. ....
"She knows what she needs to do out there, and it makes it even harder to beat her.”
After a few years in the grand slam wilderness, Wozniacki said she was confident that she was back on track.
“I have had a great two weeks here and I have played really well this summer,” she said.
“I feel like I'm on the right path. I have been playing really well, so hopefully I can finish off the year strong and have a good start to next year."
Editing by Gene Cherry