Serena Williams faces Jessica Pegula in Auckland final

American delivers masterclass, beating Anisimova 6-4, 6-0 in just 43 mins


Afp January 11, 2020
PHOTO: AFP

AUCKLAND: Serena Williams delivered a masterclass in her semi-final at the WTA Auckland Classic on Saturday, needing only 43 minutes to down rising star Amanda Anisimova and set up a showdown against Jessica Pegula.

The unsung and unseeded Pegula stunned Caroline Wozniacki in a three-set semi-final 3-6, 6-4, 6-0.

Top-seed Williams, at her imperious best, rapidly eliminated third-seed Anisimova 6-1, 6-1.

It highlighted the gulf between the 38-year-old, the women's tennis figurehead for the past two decades, and the next generation of players led by the 18-year-old Anisimova.

The mother of two-year-old Olympia said she had been working hard to juggle tennis and motherhood as she targets a 24th Grand Slam at the Australian Open later in the month.

She was all power and precision as she dominated the centre of the court and moved the teenager around, running down Anisimova's drop shots and blunting opportunities for the young player to unleash her telling forehand.

"I was definitely in the zone today. I knew I was playing a really great player and an even better person and I knew I had to come out serious," Williams said. "It feels really good. I've been working hard for a couple of years, my daughter's only two, I tend to be really hard on myself but considering everything, I'm doing pretty good."

Former World number one Wozniacki, who has announced she will retire after the Australian Open, arrived at her penultimate tournament determined to win in Auckland at her seventh attempt to add to her 30 WTA titles.

Instead, it was the 25-year-old Pegula, the world 82nd-ranked player who won her only WTA title at the Washington Open last year, who came out on top.

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