Wozniacki, Sevastova blast their way into final four
2018-10-05 22:59:29

No.2 seed Caroline Wozniacki was in top form on the Diamond Court stage Friday as she defeated Katerina Siniakova 6-2 6-2 to book her spot in the China Open’s final four.

She joined Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova, who earlier in the day made her way into the semis thanks to a straight-sets win over former world No.4 Dominika Cibulkova.

Wozniacki, a China Open champion in 2010, committed only seven unforced errors during the 67-minute match, converting four of seven break points against Siniakova, the world No.2 in doubles.

“I'm very happy that I've gotten some great tennis in me this week,” Wozniacki said. “I've played some great matches against good opponents. I'm happy to go far in this event. Hopefully I can go even a step or two further. I'm going to do my best.”

This year’s China Open marks Wozniacki’s best performance since her championship-winning run at the Eastbourne International in June.

Wozniacki raced through the first set, going up an early break and holding serve for a 4-1 lead. She won 93 percent of her first serves during the set, capturing the opener in 30 minutes.

The Australian Open champion struck a similar tune in the second, using a ferocious swinging volley to earn the early break at 1-0.

Siniakova couldn’t find the form she displayed in upsetting No.11 seed Kiki Bertens in the last 16, committing four times more unforced errors than Wozniacki.

On match point, Siniakova’s third double fault sent Wozniacki through.

“I think I played really well, probably the best match for me in the tournament,” Wozniacki said. “I think I played well yesterday, but I played even better today, so I'm happy with that.”

She will next face either Aryna Sabalenka or Wang Qiang for a place in the final.

On Lotus Court, Sevastova arranged a semifinal showdown with US Open champion Naomi Osaka after defeating Cibulkova 6-3 7-6(5).

Sevastova, fresh off a semifinal appearance in New York, wasted no time in the first set, breaking Cibulkova for an early 3-1 lead.

After an exchange of breaks, Cibulkova’s backhand missed the mark, delivering Sevastova two set points. Another forehand in the net by the Slovakian handed the first set to Sevastova in 44 minutes.

Cibulkova broke early to start the second set and had two points on her serve to earn a 2-0 lead, but Sevastova broke back after a collection of return winners and a double fault by Cibulkova.

The World No.20 fell behind again as Cibulkova rebounded with a massive return winner of her own, and an unreturnable serve gave the Slovakian a 4-2 lead.

But Cibulkova’s 44 unforced errors during the match compared to the Latvian’s 23 prevented her from extending the match to a third set.

Sevastova would recover from a break down three times in the second, and crawl back from an early three-point deficit in a tiebreak, to become one of the China Open’s final four.

(By Noah Higgins-Dunn)

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