Wozniacki and Keys through to Charleston final

Published by Reuters / Tennismash

Caroline Wozniacki is looking for her first WTA title since October; Getty Images
Caroline Wozniacki will face Madison Keys in the Charleston final, while Victoria Azarenka returns to a WTA final with victory over Angelique Kerber.

Caroline Wozniacki and Madison Keys will battle it out for the Charleston Open after comfortable semifinal wins.

Wozniacki, winner of the South Carolina tournament in 2011, was too good for Croatia’s Petra Martic, winning 6-3 6-4.

“It’s been a long time since I made this long run here,” Wozniacki said.

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“So, I’m just really happy to be through to the finals once again, and I’ve been feeling great this week.”

The fifth-seeded Dane broke Martic twice in the second set to ease into Sunday’s decider.

The victory maintained Wozniacki streak of not having lost a set to Martic in six meetings, and gave further evidence that she can be a threat on clay.

“I just keep needing to have a positive attitude, because I can play well on this surface,” said Wozniacki.

“I think I just need to keep working on my movement and keep working on my game so that I keep improving every week.”

It was an even easier passage into the decider for eighth-seeded Keys, who had accounted for top seed Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals, as she cruised past the unseeded Monica Puig 6-4 6-0 either side of a rain delay.

“I think she came out really firing and going for her shots, and she was making a lot of them,” Keys said.

“So it was just weathering the storm and waiting for opportunities and trying to play smart when I got them.

“And I think the rain delay actually really helped because I got to refocus and kind of take a step back.

“And then in the second set, it was really just, stay on it, stay on it, try not to think about anything else. Just really happy that I was able to close it out.”

Azarenka ends three-year wait for final

Former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka is back in a WTA final for the first time in three years following a win over top seed Angelique Kerber in Monterrey.

Azarenka came through 6-4 4-6 6-1 to set up a final against No.2 seed Garbine Muguruza, a 6-2 6-3 winner over No.8 seed Magdalena Rybarikova.

Azarenka last reached a final when she completed the ‘Sunshine Double’ of Indian Wells and Miami in 2016, before giving birth to her son Leo later in the year.

“It’s quite incredible. I’m very pleased with the way I played today. It was an important match to see how I could do under pressure against a top player,” Azarenka said.

“I haven’t won many of those in the last couple of years, so it’s good that I was able to turn it around and pick up my level, so I’m happy about that.”

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