ASB Classic: Caroline Wozniacki suffers shock exit in semi-finals

Serena Williams has swept aside the challenge of talented American Amands Anisimova to book a spot in the ASB Clasic final on Sunday.

The former world N0.1 took just under an hour in dispatching her 18-year-old opponent 6-1, 6-1 on centre court at No.1 Tennis Lane in Auckland. 

Williams will play fellow American Jessica Pegula in Sunday's final after she shocked the soon-to-be retired Caroline Wozniacki in the first semi-final. 

Jessica Pegula
Jessica Pegula Photo credit: Photosport

Anisimova, 20 years Williams' junior, said it was the happiest moment of her life when she won through to face her idol and 23-time major winner.

But, like many before her, she found the reality of being on court with the all- time great to be less enjoyable.

Williams struck winner after winner against the rising 18-year-old in a dominant display that puts her in good stead to claim that elusive 24th major title when she heads to Melbourne Park this month.

"I was definitely in the zone today. It was just one of those days," Williams said.

"I've been working really hard. I tend to be really hard on myself. Considering everything I'm doing pretty good."

Williams made just six unforced errors in the rout, striking 19 winners.

Her last title was the 2017 Australian Open, a tournament she won while pregnant with her first daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.

Williams will also play off for the doubles title on Sunday, with her best friend on the WTA tour and retiring Wozniacki.

Pegula came from a set down to defeat the former world No.1, winning 3-6 6-4 6-0 in one hour and 53 minutes.

Pegula banished early inconsistencies to rout her more credentialed rival in the third set and complete the surprise win

"Caroline has had an amazing career and I know she's retiring, so I'm glad I got to play her," she said.

"I definitely knew that if I was going to play defensive, I was not going to win that battle. I had to step in and take my chances and trust my game."

While Pegula's rise continues, Wozniacki is stepping out of the spotlight.

The much-loved Dane announced her departure from the WTA tour last month, having realised she wanted to accomplish more in life off the court, including starting a family with husband David Lee, a former NBA All-Star.

She will end her professional career after this month's Australian Open.

Her place at the sport's top table is undeniable; she sits ninth on the list for most weeks (71) spent as world No.1 and claimed the 2018 Australian Open.

That tournament success is the reason why she's chosen Melbourne Park as the site for her last event.