Wozniacki wins in Hong Kong

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Caroline Wozniacki beat Kristina Mladenovic in three sets at the Hong Kong Open to win her second title of the season.

The fifth-seeded Dane stormed through the first set but lost the second on a tie-break before eventually clinching a 6-1 6-7 (4/7) 6-2 win in two hours and 40 minutes.

Wozniacki, the former world number one now ranked 22nd, broke her French opponent’s serve twice to take a one-sided opening set, which ended when Mladenovic fired a backhand return wide.

She broke twice more in the second, including in the first game, only for Mladenovic to respond in kind and force a breaker which she won when Wozniacki chased down a deft drop-shot but hit her forehand long.

It was a temporary reprieve though and, having already broken twice in the deciding set, Wozniacki clinched the match with a searing backhand return to Mladenovic’s feet which the French player could only parry into the net.

In an on-court interview, Wozniacki said: “It’s really an amazing tournament and we love coming here.

“It’s not my first time in Hong Kong and definitely not my last, I’m looking forward to coming back.

“Kristina, good week this week, I’m sure there’ll be many more matches between us in the future.”

Mladenovic said: “I gave it all I had, not a lot of energy left and everything hurts.

“I’ve never seen such a crowd, if you weren’t there I think I would probably have given up.”

In China’s Tianjin Open, wild card Peng Shuai gave the home crowd reason to celebrate with a straight-sets win over Alison Riske in the final.

Peng perhaps benefited from having the better of the scheduling after rain washed out much of Saturday’s play.

She had to complete her 3-6 7-5 6-3 semi-final win over Danka Kovinic, having resumed on Sunday morning at 3-3 in the final set, but could rest up in relative terms as Riske upset second seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4 5-7 6-4 in two and a half hours.

The American had little left as Peng won the final 7-6 (7/3) 6-2 to capture the trophy.

Kuznetsova’s semi-final loss ended her hopes of qualifying for the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore.

 

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