Serena Williams awoke from a listless start to defeat Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 in quarter-final action Friday at the $2.44-million women’s Rogers Cup.
Williams, the defending champion and world’s top-ranked player, extended her Rogers Cup win streak to 14 matches after victories at the 2011 and 2013 events in Toronto. She skipped the 2012 tournament.
Wozniacki, coming off a win at Istanbul, ended an eight-match streak.
The match that lasted two hours 41 minutes saw Wozniacki control the first set and build a 2-0 lead in the second before Williams started hitting the lines.
“I was making a lot of unforced errors in general,” said Williams. “But I just thought: ‘Just keep fighting. Hopefully I can just hold on and hold on, try to break, keep going for each shot.’
“I just never wanted to stop and tried to do the best that I could.”
She broke service for a 3-2 first-set lead and fought off two break points to close the set.
Williams had a prime chance to break at 2-1 in the second set but hit a soft volley that Wozniacki was able to return. But she came back with a break to make it 4-4 and broke again to even the match.
The third set featured five service breaks, the last giving Williams the win on her third match point.
Williams is now 7-1 all-time against Wozniacki. Williams won at Stanford last week and has captured seven straight matches.
But she knew beating Wozniacki wouldn’t be easy.
“Especially when you play someone like Caroline or other opponents, you know your match might be a little longer than normal,” said Williams. “You go in there thinking: ‘This is not going to be routine.’ You’re ready.”
Wozniacki was happy with her tournament despite the defeat.
“It was really small things that did it out there today,” she said. “She came up with quite a few big serves when she needed to.
“It could have gone both ways. I had a break in the second set. Didn’t manage to hold on. But I gave it everything I had, it just wasn’t quite enough.”
Williams will face the winner of a later quarter-final between her sister, Venus, and Carla Suarez Navarro in the semi-finals. Serena Williams has a 14-10 career record against her older sister.
In other action, Agnieszka Radwanska faces Victoria Azarenka while qualifier Coco Vandeweghe takes on Ekaterina Makarova.