Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki lost in the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships, falling to Julia Goerges 7-6 (3), 7-5 on Friday.
The former top-ranked Dane led 4-2 in the second set before Goerges regained control to close out the match in just over two hours.
“I didn’t play my best game today,” Wozniacki said. “Made way too many unforced errors, and Julia took advantage of that.”
Goerges was to face Agnieszka Radwanska in the final yesterday after the Polish player defeated Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 6-2, 2-6, 6-0 in the first semi-final.
Wozniacki said she struggled with her serve throughout the match, while Goerges never let her find her rhythm once the ball was in play. Goerges now has a 3-2 head-to-head record against the former No. 1.
“It was a pretty tough match. I mean, it’s never easy playing her,” Goerges said. “It’s always a lot of balls, a lot of rallies. We played over two hours for two sets.”
Goerges overcame Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova, Casey Dellacqua of Australia and Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia in the previous rounds. Dellacqua replaced top-ranked Victoria Azarenka, who pulled out of the tournament with an ankle injury on Wednesday before she was to play her opening match against Goerges.
“You never expect being in the final when you have seen the draw before,” Goerges said. “I mean, it started with a tough first round, expecting another big match in the second round, which unfortunately didn’t happen.”
“But, well, it’s nice to be in the final with so many great players in the draw,” she said.
Radwanska and Goerges last met in Melbourne, Australia, last month, when the Polish player beat the -German 6-1, 6-1 in the quarter-finals.
“Well, it’s going to be a tough one again,” Goerges said of yesterday’s final. “I mean, she killed me in Australia. Well, tomorrow is a new day, new match, and starts from zero again.”
The fifth-seeded Radwanska jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first set against Jankovic before winning it in 33 minutes. The 22-year-old Polish player faltered in the second when her Serbian opponent broke twice, but then regrouped and wrapped up the win without losing another game.
Radwanska said she regained her confidence by breaking early in the third set, causing the eighth-seeded Jankovic to lose focus.
AP, MONTERREY, MEXICO
Sara Errani breezed into the semi-finals of the Monterrey Open with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Luxembourg’s Mandy Minella on Friday.
The second-seeded Italian has lost only 12 games across three matches at the tournament and progressed to a semi-final against Hungary’s Timea Babos. Babos beat Austria’s Patricia Mayr-Achleitner 6-4, 6-2.
Another Hungarian, Greta Arn, also moved into the semi-finals with a 6-1, 7-6 (6) win over Russia’s Nina Bratchikova.
The sixth-seeded Arn will next face Romanian Alexandra Cadantu, who thrashed Spain’s Lourdes Dominguez-Lino 6-2, 6-0.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) hailed Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying after her win at the All England Open Badminton Championships with a video montage on Facebook as the shuttler began 14 days of self-quarantine on her return to Taiwan. The BWF Facebook group released the video on Friday, saying: “She is terrific, she is tenacious, she is the queen. All hail Queen Tai,” lauding her third All England title after her 21-19, 21-15 victory over top seed and then-world No. 1 Chen Yufei of China in in Birmingham on Sunday. Tai on Wednesday posted a photograph of herself onboard an EVA Airways flight
Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is buying the Forum for US$400 million, ending the billionaire’s legal fight with Madison Square Garden Co (MSG) and clearing the way to build a new arena for his NBA team down the street in Inglewood, California. Ballmer on Tuesday announced his cash purchase of the venerated arena. Ballmer, a former Microsoft executive, and Clippers vice chairman Dennis Wong are making the transaction through CAPSS LLC, a newly formed entity that would continue to operate the Forum as a live music venue. “This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” Ballmer said.
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