Top Seeds On Track

Once again the crowd helped get Caroline Wozniacki across the line, but Li Na cruised.

Published August 06, 2010 12:00

Top Seeds On Track
Li Na

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Caroline Wozniacki advanced to the semifinals of the $220,000 e-Boks Sony Ericsson Open on Friday night, but only by the skin of her teeth. For the second match in a row the tournament favorite dropped the opening set - and this time her opponent, Julia Goerges, actually served for the match in the decider.

But as she did against Iveta Benesova on Wednesday night, Wozniacki even pulled out a 60 set, on this occasion in the second set. However, despite the drastic shift in momentum, fifth-seeded Goerges regrouped to break the Dane for a 2-0 lead in the final set.

Although Wozniacki duly drew level at 3-3, her German opponent broke again to give herself the opportunity to serve it out at 5-3. But it was not to be for the recent first-time titlist at Bad Gastein; Wozniacki forced the tie-break and powered home, 36 60 76(3).

"Julia played really well tonight; I was close to losing," Wozniacki said. "I pulled it through, and that's great. There was a great atmosphere, a lot of people. It's really great to play in front of the home crowd."

Wozniacki's opponent in the semis will be Russian qualifier Anna Chakvetadze. Having won the title at Portoroz two weeks ago, the 23-year-old former world No.5 extended her winning streak to eight matches with a straight-sets defeat of No.6 seed Polona Hercog, 64 63.

"It looked easy, but it was not, and to be honest I'm actually not very happy with the way I played today," said Chakvetadze. "I made a lot of unforced errors and my movement wasn't as good as I want it to be.

"Still, it's a good result for me to be in the semis here and I'm excited. I think I'm still far away from my best, but on the upside I'm getting my confidence back and starting to play better. I need to play a Top 10 player to see how close I am. I've lost to Caroline twice and never beaten her; we haven't played for two years and I'm sure she's improved since then. I'll try to play my best and enjoy it."

The second semifinal in the Farum Arena will see No.2 seed Li face seventh-seeded Klara Zakopalova, who has been seeded at every event she's played since Wimbledon but only this week justified that status. 

The Czech's victim on Friday was Sorana Cirstea, 61 75. The match featured 23 break points, spilt almost equally, but Zakopalova won two-thirds of her chances, the Romanian one third, with the one game she pocketed in the first set coming off her opponent's serve.

For her part Li, playing her first tournament since falling to Serena Williams in the quarters at Wimbledon, dominated No.8 seed Angelique Kerber in 58 minutes, 61 62. Both players faced seven break points, but while Li fended off five, Kerber could only save one - and the German also lost 86% of points off her second serve.

"I played her in Birmingham and it was a tough, tough match," said Li. "But today I think she didn't serve as hard as last time and that was a chance for me. I know she plays flat, so I knew I'd have to move my feet faster than in my last two matches. I practised with Klara a few days ago and she plays even flatter."

The doubles final was also set, with No.4 seeds Vitalia Diatchenko and Tatiana Poutchek downing Brits Anne Keothavong and Anna Smith in a match tie-break, and top-seeded Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld beating No.3 seeds Ipek Senoglu and Renata Voracova.

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