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Rediff.com  » Sports » US Open: Wozniacki wallops Errani to reach semi-finals

US Open: Wozniacki wallops Errani to reach semi-finals

September 03, 2014 11:36 IST

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki hits to Sara Errani. Photograph: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Caroline Wozniacki used her aggressive groundstroke game to near perfection on Tuesday and pummeled Italy's Sara Errani 6-0, 6-1 to reach the semi-finals of the US Open.

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The 10th seed reached the last four at a Grand Slam for the first time since 2011 by beating Errani at her own strategy, engaging in long baseline rallies but using superior power to open the court and find lanes for winners.

Dane Wozniacki walloped winners of all varieties, belting 26 of them to just 12 for her Italian opponent, who looked dazed and confused at times on court.

The match ended when an Errani forehand hit the net tape and flopped back on her own side of the net and the strains of "Sweet Caroline" began to serenade Wozniacki over the loudspeaker.

‘It's been a pretty up and down year for me’

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark serves to Sara Errani of Italy. Photograph: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

"It's been a pretty up and down year for me," said Wozniacki, whose two-year relationship with world number one golfer Rory McIlroy ended this year just days after their wedding invitations were sent out.

"To be here in the semi-finals of the US Open once again is an incredible feeling. Definitely, hard work pays off. I'm here and I'm so happy."

The match began inauspiciously for Wozniacki, who struggled with the warm winds that blew through the stadium.

She hit an ugly double fault on her second serve of the opening game and had to fend off four break points to hold serve.

"Love-40 isn't really a good start, but it was really windy and it just took me a few serves to kind of get into the rhythm and figure out where to throw the ball and what to aim for," she said.

Wozniacki did not take long to adjust and ended up winning 57 points to a mere 26 for the overmatched Errani.

‘She is much stronger than me physically’

Sara Errani of Italy reacts against Caroline Wozniacki

Sara Errani of Italy reacts against Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark. Photograph: Justin Heiman/Getty Images

Errani, accustomed to keeping the ball in play long enough to profit from an unforced error, tried to force the action by approaching the net, but Wozniacki whistled winners over her, past her and occasionally right at her.

Errani came to net 20 times and won only half those points.

"She is much stronger than me physically. I think that was the most important difference today," said the 13th seed. "She doesn’t miss a ball.

"I tried to change my game in the second set and come more to the net. I was trying but was difficult."

Wozniacki, a finalist at the 2009 US Open, reigned for 67 weeks as No 1 back in 2010 and 2011 but is still seeking her first Grand Slam crown.

Standing in her path to a return to a slam final is China's unseeded Peng Shuai, who was equally impressive in routing 17-year-old Swiss Belinda Bencic in the lower half of the women's draw where the leading seeds have vanished in upsets.

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