Former World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki is first into the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships final, dismissing Anastasija Sevastova in straight sets.
WTA Staff

DUBAI, UAE - No.10 seed Caroline Wozniacki willed her way past surprise semifinalist Anastasija Sevastova, dispatching the Latvian, 6-3, 6-4, to reach her first final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships since winning the event in 2011.

"I really love coming back here and playing on this court," she said on court after earning a 22nd career match win in Dubai - the most of any at this event. "It's amazing. The crowd is always supporting me; you guys are amazing and make this tournament special.

"Being an ambassador for Dubai Duty Free just makes it all the more sweet, playing well here every year. I'm just thrilled to be in another final."

Coming off a run to the final of a particularly rainy Qatar Total Open, Wozniacki dealt with a few more delays in her semifinal to advance into back-to-back finals for the first time since 2014, when she finished runner-up at both the US Open and the Toray Pan Pacific Open.

"I'm kind of used to the rain by now; for the last two weeks it's been on and off, but I thought we played good quality tennis so I'm extremely happy to be through.

"It's been a good couple of weeks for me," she later explained in her post-match press conference. "Very happy with how I have been playing. Very happy how I have managed to get through these two weeks, because it's been very tiring mentally. The fact that I have just been staying in there and keep grinding, I'm kind of proud of that."

Wozniacki and Sevastova last met in the quarterfinals of the US Open, where Sevastova earned a career-best Grand Slam result but twisted her ankle early on, allowing the Dane to ease into her first major semifinal in exactly two years. Sevastova was far fitter on Friday night, pushing the former World No.1 through two tough sets, each of which came down to the wire.

"She definitely was a tricky opponent. I knew going into it that she was going to be difficult. She mixes the pace up. She really tries to break your rhythm.

"I was really pleased with how I was playing. I tried to stay aggressive and tried to mix it up, as well."

By match's end, the Dane had struck 17 winners to 20 from the resurgent Latvian, but almost half as many unforced errors - 17 to 31 - and maintained an impressive 70% first serve percentage to clinch victory after one hour and 26 minutes on court.

Up next for Wozniacki is the winner of the second semifinal between top seed Angelique Kerber and her nemesis, No.7 seed Elina Svitolina.

"I'm just happy to play against either. They're both great competitors and great opponents. I lost to both of them the last time we've played so it's not going to be easy but I'm just thrilled to be in the final and I'm going to give it a good battle."