sport

Serena scrapes by Wozniacki

Serena Williams fought back from a slow start to beat Caroline Wozniacki 2-6 6-2 6-4 and reach the final of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

The top seed and world No 1 stayed on course for her second tournament win of the North American hard-court swing after clinching her eighth victory in nine meetings with Wozniacki.

Both players struggled mightily on serve, leading to a total of 15 breaks in the 26 games, but it was Williams who managed to edge a back-and-forth deciding set.

The first five games of the third set all went against the serve and the pair also traded breaks later on before the veteran American emerged with the victory.

"I was feeling tired today, so in the second set I just told myself to hit big serves," Williams said.

"I gave all that I had in me today. I didn't expect to do this well over the summer. I knew I needed matches so I entered three tournaments. But I'm still here."

Williams has never taken the title in Cincinnati, coming closest last year when she lost a final-set tie-break in the final against Victoria Azarenka.

The 32-year-old will play either Maria Sharapova or Ana Ivanovic for this year's crown.