Wozniacki battles to reach Auckland final

AucklandOpencropped

Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki and second-seeded Julia Goerges will meet Sunday in the final of the WTA Tour's ASB Classic after working their way through quarterfinals and semifinals Saturday in a schedule compacted by rain delays.

The Auckland Open remains elusive for Wozniacki, who is now a two-time runner-up. Games went with service from there in the first set, which Goerges sealed with her seventh ace.

She bagged four aces across Sunday's two sets and nailed 64 per cent of first serves, keeping the dynamic Vickery pinned back for most of the match.

Last year, Serena Williams said she "abhorred" the conditions when bundled out in the second round on a particularly windy day and wanted to "get to somewhere better, some warm weather". With a thundering forehand proving her biggest asset, it was only fitting for Goerges, the No 2 seed, to seal the title with a forehand victor. "That makes me prouder and I'm just enjoying every moment". It was finally in the eighth game that Wozniacki was able to convert her third breakpoint chance to level the set at 4-4.

Wozniacki is set to rise to number two in the world in Monday's rankings and could yet regain top spot at the Australian Open this month.

"I really had to dig deep and stay focused, and she played really well, I have to say - picked it up and got a lot of balls back", the 27-year-old Wozniacki said.

Goerges, ranked No 14 in the world, earned her back-to-back victories at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow and the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai, while Wozniacki won the biggest title of her career in October at the WTA Finals in Singapore.

"I'm exhausted, if I'm being honest", said the Dane said after the match.

The 2016 champion Alize Cornet was dispatched in the first round yesterday
by the Romanian Mihaela
Buzarnescu.

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