It took only a few seconds for the Arthur Ashe Stadium audio to switch on "Sweet Caroline."
And it took Caroline Wozniacki only 1 hour, 5 minutes to dispense with Sara Errani Tuesday night in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open. The scores were 6-0, 6-1 and Errani failed to hold a single serve. She broke Wozniacki in the first game of the second set but otherwise wasn't a factor. She won only eight points on her own serve.
The victory sends Wozniacki to the semifinals of the Open for the first time since 2011, where she will face Shuai Peng. This is the furthest Wozniacki has been in any Grand Slam event since a quarterfinal finish in Australia in 2012. Wozniacki was coming off a huge win over Maria Sharapova in the Round of 16, a three-set battle that affirmed she is on the right track again.
Wozniacki handled the gusty conditions well with towels and food wrappers flying about. "Really tricky conditions, but I stayed aggressive out there," Wozniacki said. "This is my favorite place to play."
With one tournament victory this season, Wozniacki has 22 WTA titles. That's the most in history for any player without a major win, one more than Pam Shriver. Wozniacki's only appearance in a Grand Slam final was in 2009 at the Open, when she lost to Kim Clijsters. She went on a run after that and made it to No. 1 in the world. Then she fell into a patch of mediocrity.
This performance speaks loudly for the re-emergence of her talent, for her ever-present speed and her increased level of aggressiveness.
It didn't bode well for Errani in the first game of the first set with Wozniacki serving. Errani won the first three points, then Wozniacki fended off three break points. She withstood another break point, held serve and raced to a bagel-job.
The second set was a formality. "She was much stronger than me physically, that was the most important difference," Errani said. "Long points made me feel worse physically. On the baseline, she was making me die."