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Serena Williams' powerful performance kills off Caroline Wozniacki's in US Open women's final

By Eleanor Crooks

Serena Williams brushed aside good friend Caroline Wozniacki in the US Open final to join Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova on 18 grand slam singles titles.

The world number one continued her dominance of the tournament, winning the same slam trophy three years in a row for the first time with a 6-3 6-3 victory.

Williams did not drop a set all tournament and hit 29 winners to Wozniacki's four – all but one of which were aces.

The Dane had hoped she would be more ready for the occasion five years after her first slam final here, when she lost to Kim Clijsters, but she was comprehensively second best.

There was much at stake for both women, although Wozniacki had proved a great deal whatever happened in the match.

The pair's friendship has grown closer this summer, with Williams helping Wozniacki to get over the shock of her split from ex-fiance, Northern Ireland golfer Rory McIlroy, during a week's holiday together in Miami.

Wozniacki had only won one of their nine previous matches, but she had pushed Williams close in clashes in Montreal and Cincinnati last month.

Two double faults in her first service game was not a great way to start for Wozniacki and Williams took advantage to take a 2-0 lead.

Williams looked edgier than she had in her previous matches and four errors handed the break straight back.

The American was all over Wozniacki's serve in the early stages and after three attempts she still had not held.

Her weaker forehand was being exposed and, when Williams put a better service game together to lead 5-2, Wozniacki was in trouble.

Consistency is usually the bedrock of her game but, whether it was the occasion or the pressure of playing Williams, Wozniacki was far from her best.

The 24-year-old did at least save a set point and hold serve for the first time, but Williams finished it off with a backhand winner after one of the best points of the match.

A tally of one winner and 10 unforced errors was certainly not going to help Wozniacki follow in McIlroy's footsteps and become a major champion.

Wozniacki was not as positive in her play as she had been throughout the tournament, particularly in her fourth-round win over Maria Sharapova and Williams was dictating while her opponent scampered around the baseline.

Had Wozniacki been broken for 3-0, the match would have been all but over before the hour mark, but she saved a break point to stay just about in contention.

However, Williams had well and truly found her serve after the shaky start and did not give Wozniacki a glimpse of a break back.

The 24-year-old finally hit her first winner off the ground in the ninth game, but three points later Williams clinched the victory when Wozniacki drove a backhand long.

The American, who turns 33 later this month, dropped to the ground in delight before sharing a hug with her friend Wozniacki.

Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic will meet in the men's final today.

Japanese player Nishikori shocked world number one Novak Djokovic in the semi-final before Croatian Cilic pulled off another surprise when he defeated five-time champion Roger Federer.

Belfast Telegraph

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