New York: Caroline Wozniacki isn`t one to take the easy road -- after all, in November she`ll make the New York City Marathon her first road race.
So the tenacious Dane was already thinking about what she`ll do the next time she gets a shot at Serena Williams, not long after the world number one virtually ran her off Arthur Ashe Stadium court 6-3, 6-3 to win the US Open.
"Next time I`m going to play her, I`m just going to try again," said Wozniacki. "Serve well and return well, that`s what you have to do. Today, she was just too good."
Wozniacki`s stellar defensive skills have rarely been enough against Williams, who has won nine of their 10 encounters.
They have helped propel the Dane to 22 WTA titles and back in 2010 and 2011 spells atop the world rankings, but she has now come up empty-handed in just two Grand Slam finals -- five years apart.
"I had a game plan in mind, but it was kind of difficult at the start," said Wozniacki, who admitted to some early jitters in the packed 23,771-capacity Ashe stadium.
"I was a little nervous going out there," she said. "When you walk into the stadium and people are screaming so loud you can`t hear what you`re thinking yourself, so it`s kind of overwhelming.
"But it`s such a cool experience."
The woman on the other side of the net was intimidating as well.
"I tried to push her back, but that really didn`t work for me," Wozniacki said. "She really just stepped in and she was playing aggressive. She was playing better than me today."
Despite the disappointment, Wozniacki said reaching the final confirmed she was moving in the right direction with her game.
"I have had a great two weeks here. I have played really well this summer," said Wozniacki, who has come on strong in recent months after the painful and public end of her engagement to golf star Rory McIlroy.
Since a first-round French Open exit she has built a 25-6 record that included three wins over top-10 players in August. That included her fourth-round triumph over former champion Maria Sharapova in Flushing Meadows.
She couldn`t get past her good friend Williams, however, falling to her in three sets in Montreal and Cincinnati before their Flushing Meadows title showdown.
"I have won so many matches. And Serena has stopped me three times," Wozniacki said. "They say three times lucky. I was hoping for that today. I`m going to try four times lucky the next time."
Before that happens, there`s the marathon to think of. Wozniacki announced her plan to run in July, for the benefit of charity, and fielded questions non-stop during the Open about the project.
She insists her training mileage hasn`t interfered with her tennis, in fact she thinks her increased stamina is a plus on court.
She did torque it back a bit during the Open, but now it`s full speed ahead.
"So I`m starting with a marathon. I`m just starting off lightly," she quipped.
Wozniacki says she does have a time goal in mind, but for now, she`s keeping that to herself.
"To be honest, I would just like to finish it. That`s going to be a goal," she said. "So yeah, it`s just like me, start on the easy side, just 26.2 miles."
And, hopefully, another crack at Serena Williams soon.