Caroline Wozniacki ended the dream of Great Britain's Heather Watson in three sets to reach the final of the Aegon International.
WTA Staff

EASTBOURNE, Great Britain - For the first time since winning the title in 2009, Caroline Wozniacki is back in the final of the Aegon International after defeating Heather Watson, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

The Dane had been in the semifinals three times since winning the title, falling each time, but made it a fourth time lucky on Friday to advance to her fourth final of the season.

In the championship, she'll square off against Karolina Pliskova for the third time in 2017 after the Czech received a walkover from British No.1 Johanna Konta earlier in the day.

"It definitely was very tough. Heather is a great player," Wozniacki said. "We always have tough fights when we're out there on court. I knew it was going to be a difficult one today, but I was pleased to finish it off. I feel I usually have great support here. I'm hoping that they will come back out tomorrow and support me."

The former World No.1 rolled through the opening set in just over 30 minutes, as she saved break points in her first service game en route to a four-game swing that put her in command early. 

While Watson got one of the breaks back in the sixth game, she was unable to stop the Dane from grinding out a third break of her serve to follow, before Wozniacki comfortably served out a one-set lead.

Although the Brit landed 74 percent of her first serves in the opening set, she was not effective in back it up - overall, she won just 5/14 points played behind her first delivery in the set (36 percent), and won just six points on her serve total in the opener.

After falling behind an early break in the second set, Watson hit her stride, as she earned a break of the Wozniacki serve at love to level the set at 2-2, beginning a streak of four straight games where she built a 5-2 lead. 

The Brit toughed out the pair of games in-between, as she saved four break points to hold on to her serve for 3-2 before breaking Wozniacki for the second straight time to stretch her lead in the middle of the set. 

"As far as my performance goes, I'm pleased with how I fought back and got myself back into the match," Watson said in defeat. "I'm feeling great about my game and got some great match wins under my belt this week and just match wins. I'm feeling confident going into next week. I'm feeling optimistic, feeling great within myself going into next week. I'm looking forward to the challenge."

In the decider, it was Wozniacki's turn to flip a set on its head after falling behind an early break, as she broke the Watson serve at love to knot the third at 2-2. From there, neither player earned a break point opportunity until the final game of the match, where Wozniacki sealed the victory on her second match point at the close of two hours, nine minutes.

Wozniacki will bid for her first title of the year in her fourth final, having finished runner-up to Pliskova previously in Doha, as well as Dubai (Svitolina) and Miami (Konta). Wozniacki earned a three-set win over the Czech in the semifinals at the Miami Open. 

"I have played eight sets in a day and a half. That's a lot. That's a lot of tennis, so definitely it's an advantage for her to be able to rest and just kind of do her normal routine with getting some stretching and stuff done or whatever she does," Wozniacki said of Pliskova.  "She'll definitely be feeling fresh tomorrow compared to me, but at the same time, I'm pleased to have gotten a great match in today. I feel very happy and good on the grass.

"It's going to be a tough match. Obviously she didn't play today so she will be more well rested for tomorrow. That's a small advantage, but at the same time, I'm just excited to be in another finals this year. Hopefully I will try to make it fourth time lucky"