Toronto: Wozniacki downs Pliskova

Published by Bastien Thorne

Caroline Wozniacki took her first win over a world No.1 against Karolina Pliskova. Photo: Getty Images
Caroline Wozniacki earned her first win against a world No.1, and Sloane Stephens marked her return to form during two titanic quarterfinals at the Rogers Cup.

Caroline Wozniacki battled into the Rogers Cup semifinals with an epic win over world No.1 Karolina Pliskova. Wozniacki came through a match that lasted two hours 56 minutes, and included two rain delays, to book her spot in the semifinal with 7-5 6-7(3) 6-4 win.

Pliskova came out swinging, attempting to consolidate her position as world No.1. Racing away to a 3-0 lead, the Czech’s momentum was halted by a brief rain delay. It gave Wozniacki the chance to compose herself, and after consulting with her father the Dane reeled off five straight games as she swept towards the opening set.

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A second rain delay failed to halt Wozniacki’s momentum, the sixth seed taking the opener 7-5. It was a tight affair in the second, with Pliskova edging it in the breaker, before Wozniacki sealed a decisive break in the third to take the match.

“Almost every tournament I’ve played this year there has been a rain delay so at this point I just have to laugh because I feel like it is following me,” Wozniacki said after the match. “Every time this year when it has been raining I’ve had a great tournament, so I thought this must be luck.”

The win was Wozniacki’s first over a world No.1.

She will go on to play surprise package Sloane Stephens in the semifinals. After a protracted struggle with injuries, the American finally seems to have found her range, dismissing Kerber on Thursday and battling past Lucie Safarova in the quarterfinals.

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In a topsy turvy match, the pair traded sets as they headed towards a grandstand finish in the decider. Safarova served for the match at 5-4 in the third, only for Stephens to battle her way back into it, reeling off three games on the trot to take the 6-2 1-6 7-5 win.

It is Stephens first WTA Premier semifinal since Miami in 2015.

The day’s other quarterfinals were postponed because of rain. Garbine Muguruza was leading Elina Svitolina 6-4 when a storm hit, while Simona Halep and Caroline Garcia were yet to go on court. The remaining quarterfinals will be first on on Saturday, with that semifinal scheduled for the night session.

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