Williams and Halep advance to final

Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:00am EDT
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By Julian Linden

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Serena Williams, her insatiable will to win as strong as ever, regained her composure after smashing her racquet and being on the brink of defeat to beat Caroline Wozniacki 2-6 6-3 7-6(6) on Saturday and reach the title match at the WTA Finals.

The world number one will face Simona Halep in Sunday's final after the pint-sized Romanian crushed Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-2 in the second semi-final.

Halep also demolished Williams during the round-robin stages earlier in the tournament, setting the stage for a mouth-watering rematch with the world number one.

The best of friends off the court, Williams and Wozniacki slugged it out like two prizefighters for almost two and a quarter hours until Williams delivered the killer blow to end a contest filled with drama and escalating tension.

The American looked to be on the ropes after losing the first set and smashing her racquet in frustration, then falling 5-4 behind in the third set.

But Wozniacki, who lost to Williams in last month's U.S. Open final, blinked first, missing her chance to serve out the match and the American made her pay by going on to win the deciding tie-breaker.

"Being so close and still losing, it really sucks," Wozniacki said. "But, you know, I think it was a great match. I played all I could today. I played my heart out. I fought until the end."

Williams only snuck into the semi-finals on a countback but is suddenly back on track to win the elite season-ending event for the third year in a row.   Continued...

Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates her win over Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their WTA Finals singles semi-finals tennis match at the Singapore Indoor Stadium October 25, 2014. REUTERS/Edgar Su