Old Friends Serena, Caroline to Square Off for U.S. Open Title | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / June 21.
  • Old Friends Serena, Caroline to Square Off for U.S. Open Title

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    SErena CaroNEW YORK — CBS will get the U.S. Open women’s final it hoped for on Sunday afternoon when two-time defending champion Serena Williams tries to make it three straight against her good friend Caroline Wozniacki.

    Top-seeded Serena obliterated No. 17 Ekaterina Makarova, 6-1, 6-3 in exactly an hour and will play for her sixth U.S. Open title and 18th Grand Slam crown, which would tie her for fourth all-time with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.

    No. 10 Wozniacki, who advanced after a bizarre match that saw her opponent Peng Shuai get taken off the court in a wheelchair with heat illness, is into her second U.S. Open final (2009) and is still seeking her first Grand Slam crown.

    “Well, I think regardless she obviously wants to go win her first Grand Slam and I want to win and make a little history,” Serena said on court.

    “She’s a such a great person and a great friend. We really looked forward to this since the draw came out and we just hope we can have a little fun and enjoy it.”

    Williams and Wozniacki are close friends and, after both lost early at the French Open, they attended Game 6 of the NBA Finals together in Miami.

    Serena is 8-1 all-time against Wozniacki, including a win in the 2011 Open semifinals and two more this summer.

    Serena’s last three U.S. Open finals — all on Sunday afternoon — have averaged 5.4 million viewers, according to the New York Times.

    “It’s definitely going to be a huge match on Sunday,” Wozniacki said. “The friendship, while we are on court, is put aside. We are both competitors. She has to win obviously, but, you know, it will be put aside and we will just be out there and fighting for every point. After the match, one of us is going to congratulate the other and we’re going to be friends again. It’s fine.”

    Both players have something to prove.

    Williams hasn’t advanced past the fourth round of a major this year, and would love to tie Evert and Navratilova in New York.

    “I’m so happy to be here in New York in another final,” Serena said. “You have no idea what it means to me, I’m really, really excited.”

    Wozniacki has reached No. 1 in the world but has long had to answer questions about never winning a major. More recently, she has had to answer questions about her breakup this spring with golfer Rory McIlroy.

    Most recently, she has reportedly been battling a cold, but said she took only an Advil during the second set to combat it.

    “I was feeling fine,” Wozniacki said. “But as I said, I have been lying in bed for the last two days. I have been taking some Tylenol and Advil before the match and I forgot to restock.”

    The two friends played twice this summer, with Serena winning both.

    Now they will play with a Grand Slam title on the line.

    “She’s obviously a great player,” Wozniacki said. “She’s won so many Grand Slams. She’s a good friend of mine. We were saying when the tournament started, we’re like, Yes, we’re in separate sides of the drawing, so hopefully we can meet in the finals. It would be great if that were to happen…. I have had two tough matches against her the last few weeks. I was really close. Hopefully for me that would be third time’s the charm.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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