This is starting to look like destiny. Caroline Wozniacki marched into the 2014 US Open semifinals with a dominant quarterfinals romp over Sara Errani, 6-0 6-1. Errani won the first three points of the match to put Wozniacki in a triple break 0-40 hole right out of the gate. But Sunshine fought off those three break points against her and another one later in that game to grab a 1-0 lead. She never looked back from there, dominating Errani in all phases of the game. Sara never held serve the entire match as her style, which bedevils other players, worked right into Caro’s style. Errani frustrates big hitters by getting shot after shot back. Wozniacki is one of the few players that actually can play that style better than Errani. Caroline rode that counterpunching gameplan all the way to world #1 for 67 weeks. Now she’s added a much improved serve, more aggressive shot making and better physical conditioning. Widely spoken of as one of the best, if not the best, players not to have won a Major, Caroline might fill that gap in her resume this weekend.
Awaiting Wozniacki in the semifinals will be PENG Shuai, who emphatically ended the run of upstart Belinda Bencic, 6-2 6-1. Peng is a 2-time Major winner and recent #1…in doubles. Her singles career has seen it’s moments. She’s been a runner-up 6 times. But she’s never won a full WTA level tournament in singles. In fact, she has thought about quitting the game…at least in singles. Before the 2014 US Open, the 28 year old Peng Shuai had never advanced past the 4th round in singles at a Major. Now, in her 37th Major try, she has reached her first semifinal. She has a daunting task in front of her in a rejuvenated Caroline Wozniacki. But you never know what can happen in sports, so I don’t count Peng Shuai out. After all, she’s already beaten the 4th seeded Agnieszka Radwanska to get where she is. By the way, the Shuai in her name should be pronounced is a way that rhymes with sky or why, not like Feng Shui, as in way or day. It hurts my ears when my fellow American announcers constantly mispronounce her name. Listen to reporter Li Qiuyuan from Chinese outlet CCTV. At the beginning of the report, Ms. Li says it correctly, although she does struggle with the other names at the end of her report.
10 CAROLINE WOZNIACKI (won 6-0 6-1 vs 13 Sara Errani)
PENG SHUAI (won 6-2 6-1 vs Belinda Bencic)