Tokyo: Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki produced a spirited fightback to beat fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 and reach the Pan Pacific Open final on Saturday.
The Dane, a winner in Tokyo six years ago, will face either Ukrainian, Elina Svitolina, or Japan’s Naomi Osaka in Sunday’s Tokyo final as she goes in search of a 24th career title.
Wozniacki, who struck back from 3-1 down in the second and third sets, ended Radwanska’s resistance on her fourth match point, forcing the Pole into a loose forehand, which she dumped tamely into the net after almost three hours on court.
At times it wasn’t pretty, but Wozniacki’s gritty display will give her confidence a further lift after battling back from a wretched run of injuries this year to reach the US Open semi-finals earlier this month.
Wozniacki had seen her world ranking plunge to 74th after suffering wrist and ankle trouble, her father even telling a Danish tabloid the 26-year-old could retire from tennis.
But despite coughing up the first set on a double fault, Wozniacki showed glimpses of her old form in an error-strewn match featuring 13 breaks of serve.
A whipped crosscourt forehand to take the initiative at 4-3 in the decider left Radwanska shaking her head and a full-blooded backhand drive to consolidate the break in the next game demonstrated why she used to be such a force.
Wozniacki, who carried her nation’s flag at this summer’s Rio Olympics, is looking to maintain her streak of having won a title in every year since 2008.AFP