AUCKLAND (AFP) – Top seed Caroline Wozniacki fought back from a set down Friday to scrape through to the finals of the Auckland Classic and a showdown with third seed Venus Williams.
Wozniacki lost the first set and the first serve of the second before recovering to beat Czech fourth seed Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 4-6,6-3, 6-4 in two hours 35 minutes.
Williams had a much easier path to the final, taking 67 minutes to beat unseeded fellow American Lauren Davis 6-0, 6-3.
Zahlavova Strycova took an early break against Wozniacki and defended 15 game points before finally yielding a service game at 2-2 in the second set. The dogged Wozniacki broke again midway through the set and again at 2-2 in the third when the 28-year-old Zahlavova Strycova sent a backhand volley out of court.
With the end in sight, world number eight Wozniacki looked more comfortable dealing with Zahlavova Strycova’s deft mix of short and long strokes.
The Czech held two break points when Wozniacki was serving for the match at 5-4, but could not convert either of them.