Head-to-Head: 1st meeting
Can you believe we're actually here? After almost two days of rain, subsequent delays and unfortunate drama we've finally arrived at the US Open ladies' final! Kim Clijsters, who left the WTA tour almost two years ago, will look to become the first wild card ever (edit: on the ladies' tour that is) to win a Grand Slam title when she faces major final debutante Caroline Wozniacki for the US Open title.
Let's take a look!
How They Got Here: In an enthralling encounter on Arthur Ashe Stadium Kimmie outplayed a simmering Serena Williams throughout their semifinal match hitting with consistent depth and keeping the defending champ off-balance by moving the ball around, using angles, and changing the pace. ReRe eventually succumbed to the Belgian's superior play and her own overblown emotions in the now-infamous "match point meltdown" falling 6-4, 7-5. Fun Fact: The '05 champ became the first lady baller to defeat the Sisters Sledge at the same tourney twice ('02 WTA Championships.)
Wozzi earned the first trip to a major final by playing her brand of steady, heady tennis against a nervous Yanina Wickmayer hitting only 14 errors against the Belgian's 40 during the 6-3, 6-3 win.
It will be the pair's first career meeting.
Here's what Kimmie had to say about Woz:
Just by the way she was hitting the ball, by the way that she was doing everything I think around the tennis was ‑‑ you could just tell, you know, that she was going to be, you know, a rising star. You know, she's shown that in her results. She's very consistent. You know, she's a super nice girl, as well. I've been able to get to know her a little bit better. I knew her a little bit from the past, but then got to know her a little bit better over these past couple of weeks. She's a very sweet girl.
Wozzi had this to say about the Belgian:
Of course I think we're both nice girls off the court, but when we're on the court, we want to win. That's normal, and we're both fighters. We want to win. We want to, you know, win this Grand Slam, and it's going to be a tough match.
I haven't really thought about any strategies yet or anything. I mean, I'm just so excited to be in the finals. It's a first final in my career. I'm just, yeah, looking forward to play tomorrow, and I have a whole day tomorrow just to relax, just to enjoy that I'm in the finals.
When it gets close, I'm going to talk to my dad who is also my coach about the tactics. Hopefully it can pay off, but there are no guarantees. I just want to go out there and enjoy that I'm in the finals.
Outlook: This is Kimmie's match to win or lose. She has the experience and the more explosive game to take down her 19-year old Danish foe. But will she have an emotional meltdown or lose focus after last night's melodrama? It remains to be seen. If she does, Wozzi - who will need to manage her own emotions after making her first major final - will most definitely be ready to take the crown by playing her high-percentage, don't-go-for-nothin' game.
Kimmie will need to be aggressive throughout, control the points and keep the unforced errors down. I believe she'll do all three.