x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Caroline Wozniacki defeats Jelena Jankovic

Dane to meet Italian Flavia Pennetta or Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova in final.

Caroline Wozniacki in action against Jelena Jankovic.
Caroline Wozniacki in action against Jelena Jankovic.

Caroline Wozniacki defeated Jelena Jankovic 7-5, 6-3 in the first semi-final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Saturday.

Wozniacki, who will retake the No 1 ranking on Monday from Kim Clijsters, will face the winner of the late semi-final between Italian Flavia Pennetta and Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova.

The top-seeded Wozniacki fell behind 3-0, 4-1 and 5-3 in the first set but sixth-seeded Jankovic, who came from behind in her two previous matches, could not maintain the momentum.

Serving for the set at 5-3, Jankovic missed four set points. Wozniacki broke after Jankovic hit long and reeled off the next three games to win the set.

"I just kept fighting," Wozniacki said. "I had a good feeling going into the match even though I started off a little slower today. She started off well and I made a few mistakes. But then I felt like I started to hit the ball really well. I was thinking if she wins this match it's just too good because I'm starting to feel this right now."

In the second set, Wozniacki settled into long rallies and relentless chasing to wear down the eighth-ranked Serb whom she had not beaten on four previous occasions.

After Wozniacki broke for 3-2, Jankovic asked for a medical time-out for a blister on her left foot. She returned to break back only to see Wozniacki return the compliment, and win the next two games.

"It was tough. I had a lot of opportunities in that first set, and I kind of let them slip a way," Jankovic said. "I let her rally, you know, in those points. There were some really long rallies that suit her. She was, you know, the better one at the end. She was just too solid."