WTA Auckland: Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki storm into the semis



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WTA Auckland: Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki storm into the semis

When a former world no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki announced her retirement from tennis at the Australian Open, she and her great friend Serena Williams agreed to compete on the same side of the court for the first time. Serena and Caroline both entered the ASB Classic at the beginning of the season and it was the perfect opportunity for the American and the Dane to team up and show their magic after joining forces.

Both Williams and Wozniacki were off to a strong start in singles (losing six games in four sets combined) and their first doubles clash was also a successful one, scoring victory over Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya in 70 minutes.

In the quarter-final on Wednesday, Serena and Caroline proved to be too strong for the top seeds Caroline Dolehide and Johanna Larsson, claiming a 6-2, 6-1 win in 52 minutes to book the place in the semis. Williams and Wozniacki lost nine points behind the serve, repelling all three break chances and keeping the pressure on the rivals all the time with a powerful display on the return, taking more than half of those points and clinching five breaks from eight opportunities to race into the last four.

Serena fired a forehand winner on the fourth break chance in the first game to start the action, holding at 15 in game two to confirm a break. Larsson couldn't hold in game three as well after a crafty volley from Caroline who then brought the fourth game home thanks to a winner from Serena at the net for a 4-0 advantage.

Serving for the set at 5-2, Wozniacki landed a service winner to grab the set for her and Serena 6-2, hoping for more of the same for the rest of the encounter. Williams fended off a break chance in the second game of the second set before Wozniacki placed a perfect lob to force an error from Larsson that gave them a break a few minutes later.

The Dane held at love to confirm the break and it was the American who fired a forehand winner in the next game for another break, moving 4-1 in front and sealing the deal with one more break in game seven thanks to a return winner from the inspired Caroline Wozniacki.