Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki to play Elena Dementieva in finals of Pan Pacific Open

By Jim Armstrong, AP
Friday, October 1, 2010

Wozniacki reaches finals at Pan Pacific Open

TOKYO — Caroline Wozniacki withstood a late comeback to defeat Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-4 Friday and reach the final of the Pan Pacific Open.

Wozniacki will meet Elena Dementieva in the title match after the Russian beat French Open champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy 6-4, 7-5 in the other semifinal.

The top-seeded Dane could overtake Serena Williams at No. 1 in the world rankings if she lifts the trophy in Tokyo and reaches the quarterfinals or better in Beijing next week.

She took a 5-0 lead in the third set before the eighth-seeded Azarenka closed the gap to 5-4. The top-seeded Dane held serve and won the match when Azarenka’s return went long.

“At 5-love, I felt really good, I thought the match was mine,” Wozniacki said. “Then Victoria started playing well and all of a sudden the score is 5-4, and I knew I had to close it out with my serve.”

Both players struggled with their serve. Wozniacki had four double-faults while Azarenka had 12, including one that allowed Wozniacki to even the second set 6-6.

Azarenka won the tiebreaker to send the match into a third set.

“The third set was really tough,” Wozniacki said. “It was like a new match, a new game.”

Azarenka, who had beaten Wozniacki twice before, said it would have been tough to come back all the way from a 5-0 deficit.

“I may have come back from 5-1 or 5-2 before, but never 5-love,” Azarenka said. “I lost my concentration, but it’s hard to keep your concentration for that long.”

Dementieva and Wozniacki are 3-3 in career matchups. Wozniacki has won four WTA titles this year and Dementieva has won two.

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