Former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki continued her climb back up the rankings earning one of her best wins of the season beating No. 3 ranked Simona Halep 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 in the Stuttgart semifinals.
“I had my chances to close it out in the second set but I didn’t, but then you just have to suck it up and play a third set – there’s nothing else you can do about it,” said the 5th-ranked Wozniacki. “I came out strong there and just tried to keep it going. I knew I had loads of energy left for the third set. That’s what I was going for, to try to stay longer in the rallies, make her run, and stay aggressive, and that’s really what I did.”
Following the 2-hour, 28-minute victory over the French Open finalist, Wozniacki moves on to face Angelique Kerber, a 6-3, 6-1 winner over Madison Brengle.
“I saw a little bit from her match today,” said Kerber who leads Wozniacki 5-4. “I think she’s in great shape. She played very well, moving everywhere on the court. So I think tomorrow will be a tough match against her, and also the matches we’ve played in the past were always tough battles. We’ll both give it our best tomorrow.
“I will sit down with my coach later and we’ll talk about the match. But for sure I will try to focus on my game, like I’ve done the whole week here. I just have to go out and try to play my game.”
Kerber has won her last 10 matches. Wozniacki is into her first Premier final since 2012 (Moscow) and her first clay court final since 2011 (Brussels).
“We both want to win,” Wozniacki said. “It’s all about momentum and all about trying to win the important points, keep your serve, be aggressive, be defensive when you need to – it’s going to be a tough match. Finals is finals, and that means both players have played well to reach that final.”
Wozniacki has 23 career titles, Kerber 4.
Barcelona has a Spaniard in the final, but it’s not Rafael Nadal nor David Ferrer. Ferrer was stunned today in the semifinals by countryman Pablo Andujar 7-6, 6-3.
“He applied the pressure and I played two poor games in the second set,” said Ferrer. “But the truth is Pablo played very well today.”
Awaiting Andujar in the final is defending champion Kei Nishikori who zipped past Martin Klizan 6-1, 6-2.
“I’m delighted to be playing the final again,” said Nishikori who is 20-1 as a top seed at an event. “You don’t usually play two finals in a row, especially in such a difficult tournament, with many great players. Lifting the trophy here last year gave me a lot of confidence and I think I changed my way of playing on clay.
“I’ve become more aggressive, my service is better and so is my return. I guess my style is becoming more Spanish. I still feel more comfortable on hard court than on clay but these last four matches have been great and I think they’ve helped me improve.”
In Bucharest, Spain went 1-1 in the semifinals with Guillermo Garcia-Lopez ousting Gael Monfils in three sets. G-Lo will meet Jiri Vesely in the final after the Czech took out Daniel Gimeno-Traver.
“I was in the semifinals two weeks ago in Casablanca and I lost against Gimeno-Traver, so it was kind of a revenge today,” said Vesely. “To be in the final of an ATP [World Tour] event is a really special moment. I will prepare as best as possible. I will try to play my best tomorrow and I will definitely enjoy the final as this will be a special day.”
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