Serena Williams showed her love of a scrap again Wednesday night, fending off three match points against unheralded Caroline Wozniacki to advance to the semi-finals of the Medibank International Sydney.
Three days after staring down four match points in a first round clash with Australian Sam Stosur, Williams hung tough once more, ousting the Dane 6-7 (7-5) 6-3 7-6 (7-3) in 2 hours and 40 minutes.
The angular Wozniacki, who rocketed from No.64 to No.12 in the rankings last season, served for the match at 6-5 in the third set but much like Stosur stiffened as a famous result beckoned.
Williams’ win sets up a semi-final against Russian Elena Dementieva on Thursday.
Unlike the stylised shots used by both women in their WTA profiles, this wasn’t always pretty but it was compulsive viewing as the pair interspersed some slick groundshots with errors at critical times.
After her first round arm wrestle, followed by a straight-sets stroll in the park over Sara Errani, it was difficult to get a read on the form of the younger Williams sister.
But some erratic shotmaking and not always stellar court movement suggested she still had some work to do if she’s to add to her three titles at Melbourne Park.
There was however no doubt about the trademark fight of the nine-time grand slam champion.
Wozniacki started strongly and while failing to capitalise on two breaks in the first set, was too consistent for Williams in the tiebreaker.
Williams raced ahead to a 5-2 lead in second but still couldn’t close it out, having her serve broken before breaking straight back to take the match into a decider.
Wozniacki had her share of moments in the third set but couldn’t capitalise on a 2-0 advantage or the three match points she secured on serve at 6-5.