(January 9, 2015) In a face-off between two former No. 1s, Venus Williams rebounded from dropping the opening set to defeat top seed Caroline Wozniacki 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 to win the ASB Classic in Auckland New Zealand. For Williams it was her 46th career singles title. She is second among active players in titles behind her sister Serena.
Williams, who had never dropped a set in five previous meeting with Wozniacki, fought back in the second set, rallying from being down a break after the opening game.
“The first set went fast,” Williams said. “After that I was like, ‘All right, time to take it to three.’ But of course with her playing that well, I had to find a way just to get it to three. In the first set she was serving so well. She had an amazing first serve percentage, all those amazing passing shots, even her mis-hits were too good. But I just tried to stay level-headed in the second set and focus on holding, and cut down on my unforced errors too, and it worked for me today.”
Williams took control in the third set breaking in the third game for a 2-1 lead and held on to win.
Williams hit 40 winners which included six aces.
Williams at 34, became the fourth oldest winner of a WTA event, behind Billie Jean King, Kimiko Date-Krumm and Martina Navratilova.
“I am an old tennis player now,” said Williams said during the trophy ceremony.
“I waited until I was 33 until I came to New Zealand and that was the biggest mistakes of my life.”
“I want to congratulate Venus for a great week,” Wozniacki said.
“Week after week you work so hard and you have been on tour for so long I have a picture on my phone when I was 12 and you told me to stay in school.”
“I remember telling (Wozniacki) to stay in school,” Williams said. “But I didn’t know you would get so good.”
“Venus played really well,” Wozniacki added. “She’s had a great week. I served really well at the start, and I was putting a lot of pressure on her, but she played better and better as the match went on.”
Top seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci from Italy took the doubles title in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 from Shuko Aoyama of Japan and Renata Voracova of the Czech Republic.
More to follow.