Zvonareva powers her way to U.S. Open final

By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Russian Vera Zvonareva defeated top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-3 to reach the women's final of the U.S. Open, beating the 20-year-old Dane at her own game Friday with power, precision and confidence.

The seventh-seeded Zvonareva, who booked a place in her second successive grand slam final after a runner-up showing at Wimbledon, will meet defending champion Kim Clijsters in Saturday night's final.

The second-seeded Belgium advanced with a 4-6 7-6 6-4 victory over third-seeded, two-time champion Venus Williams of the United States.

Wozniacki, last year's U.S. Open runner-up and the hottest player on the circuit with a 13-match winning streak, had averaged only six errors a set in losing just 17 games over her first five straight-set matches.

On another breezy day at Flushing Meadows, it was Zvonareva who delivered an impeccable performance from the ground, at the service line and the net to thoroughly outplay the Dane.

Zvonareva served up five aces, won 13 of 17 points she played at the net and also won the battle of the groundstrokes, committing 25 unforced errors to 31 for Wozniacki in the 85-minute match.

The Muscovite won 70 percent of her first-serve points, while Wozniacki, broken four times in the match, captured just over half of her first-serve points on an overcast day.

"It was a tough match," said Zvonareva, who turned 26 earlier in the week. "It was very difficult for both of us with this wind today but I think I was patient and aggressive."

The hard-hitting Zvonareva broke strings on four rackets, having to borrow an old racket of hers to carry on at one point during the second set.

Zvonareva claimed the first set with a lone service break in the third game, and broke Wozniacki three times in the second set.

A netted forehand from the demoralized Dane ended the match and sent the Russian to a second successive grand slam final.

(Editing by Steve Ginsburg)