Following impressive showings from both competitors throughout the week at the ASB Classic, former world No. 1 players Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams will meet for a sixth time on the professional tour. Wozniacki will look to capture the Auckland title as well as a first ever victory over her American adversary, as Venus remains undefeated in the head-to-head series 5-0.
As the top seed of the tournament, Danish star Caroline Wozniacki was the first of the two finalists to advance to the exciting berth. However, she also faced the tougher semi-final match-up, and was forced to contest a decider against fourth seed Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. Following a heated contest, Wozniacki rallied back from a set down to edge out the victory 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
“She’s a tricky player to play because she doesn’t give you much rhythm,” Wozniacki said. “She comes to the net, she mixes the pace – I think she played really well today. For me it was about just staying in the match. I didn’t start off too well, I didn’t really feel the depth of the ball that I wanted to. But I started playing better as it went on, and I think she did too. I just had to kind of get going out there.”
Seeded third for this particular event, former finalist Venus Williams had little difficulty dispatching fellow American Lauren Davis to advance to the final. Williams dropped a mere three games in the match and finished with a score of 6-0, 6-3 in 67 minutes. Williams hit four aces, won 71% of her first service points and saved three break points en route to her first final of the season.
“She’s obviously a tough competitor,” Wozniacki said. “She’s played really well this week – very aggressive, serving well, taking the ball early – it won’t be easy, but I’m looking forward to it. I’m happy to be in my first final of the year, and hopefully there will be many more to come this year.”
This marks the sixth time that these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, with Williams leading the series with an unblemished 5-0 record. While four of those encounters took place seven years ago, the most recent match-up was last season, where Williams cruised past Wozniacki 6-3, 6-2 en route to winning the Dubai title several days later. While I fully expect this to be a far more competitive encounter, this may be Williams’ time to shine in Auckland.
Prediction: Venus Williams in Three Sets