Woz­ni­acki ad­vances to Rogers Cup fi­nal

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Caro­line Woz­ni­acki cruised into the Rogers Cup fi­nal with a 6-2, 6-3 vic­tory over Sloane Stephens on Satur­day. Woz­ni­acki elim­i­nated Stephens in a tidy 83 min­utes at Aviva Cen­tre. “I think I was mov­ing very well and re­triev­ing and just try­ing to stay ag­gres­sive when I could,” Woz­ni­acki said. “But it was a dif­fi­cult match. And I think it was closer than what the score­line showed.” Woz­ni­acki, the No. 6 seed from Den­mark, will play ei­ther de­fend­ing cham­pion and se­cond seed Si­mona Halep of Ro­ma­nia or fifth-seeded Elina Svi­tolina of Ukraine in the fi­nal.

Halep and Svi­tolina were sched­uled to play Satur­day night after win­ning rain­de­layed quar­ter­fi­nal matches in the morn­ing. Wet weather ham­pered the pro­ceed­ings at the WTA Tour Pre­mier 5 event for a se­cond straight day. The af­ter­noon semi­fi­nal was briefly de­layed in the se­cond set.

Woz­ni­acki knocked off top-ranked Karolina Pliskova on Fri­day just over five hours after they started warmups. They had to wait out four rain de­lays and spent nearly three hours on court. Stephens, who is try­ing to re­gain her form after miss­ing al­most a year due to a foot in­jury, showed flashes of her im­pres­sive power game. But she had 41 un­forced er­rors, com­pared to 11 for Woz­ni­acki. A former top-15 player, Stephens re­turned to ac­tion last month at Wim­ble­don. Her rank­ing has plum­meted to No. 934 due to her ex­tended ab­sence.”I didn’t win, but I think this whole week was a very big per­sonal vic­tory,” Stephens said. “So I didn’t win the tour­na­ment, but in my eyes I did.”

Woz­ni­acki, a former world No. 1, is 0-5 in fi­nals this season. The 27-year-old won the Rogers Cup in 2010 at Mon­treal, one of 25 ca­reer ti­tles.”I don’t re­ally think too much about oth­ers when I’m out there on court, I just think about my­self and what I need to do,” Woz­ni­acki said. “And ev­ery time I step out on the court, I be­lieve I can win. “That’s re­ally the way I think.”

Stephens did not have high ex­pec­ta­tions for this sum­mer and was quite pleased to reach the fi­nal four. “For this to be my third tour­na­ment back and play­ing like this, I mean I re­ally couldn’t ask for any­thing more,” she said. “So I’m super happy with that.”Ear­lier in the day, Halep beat Caro­line Gar­cia of France 6-4, 6-2, and Svi­tolina topped fourth seeded Gar­bine Mugu­ruza of Spain 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

The tour­na­ment’s sin­gles cham­pion will earn $501,975 of the $2.74-mil­lion purse. The fi­nal­ist will take home $243,920.

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