2015 Aegon International

Wozniacki seals Eastbourne hat-trick

Caroline Wozniacki’s success story at Devonshire Park continued with her third successive semi-final at Eastbourne, after overturning erratic Andrea Petkovic 7-5 6-1.

The great Dane, who usually thrives on the Eastbourne grass and is justifiably the Centre Court’s golden girl, outclassed Petkovic.

And after Wozniacki, the 2009 champion on the genteel south coast resort, found her groove following an edgy opening set then it was just a question of time as to how much longer she would bask in the glorious sunshine.

Wozniacki, the sole top eight remaining in the quarter-final draw, smashed past Petkovic in 28 minutes after taking an hour to seal the first set.

And she ran out an easy winner, steaming 5-0 before she dropped a game and sealed the match on her serve.

The former world #1 faces unseeded teenager Belinda Bencic in a semi-final showdown.

A real ding-dong opening set, which lasted exactly an hour, saw neither player hold their serve over the initial six games.

Wozniacki then broke that pattern and went 5-3 ahead. Serving for the set she was fraught with anxiety to allow Petkovic back in.

Petkovic, serving to stay in the set, sped to 40-15 before two double faults, battled back to win the next two points and leave the contest nicely poised at 5-5.

But Wozniacki, not favoured by the Centre Court crowd like she was in other two matches, showed her grass court skills by mixing up the pace to frustrate her opponent and capture the set with back-to-back games.

The temperature on Court was rising and Petkovic was often involved in heated discussions with the umpire as she started to feel the pressure and lost five games on the bounce.

But despite her late attempt at making it a contest by holding her serve, Petkovic failed in her next game with Wozniacki thumping down an ace and concluding the clash with a simple tapped shot into the empty space.

wozniacki

Wozniacki explained:

“It was a tough match because she gets a lot of balls back.

“I returned well today, which was the key to my win. I’ve been playing well all week and I’m happy with my form, so I just want to carry it over into the semis.

“It’s been a lot of years since I won here in 2009 and I’ve improved a lot. I’m excited to play in another semi-final here and it’s nice to have got a few more matches under my belt before Wimbledon.

“But I don’t care who the favourite is because it’s all about winning the match you have in front of you. I just want to win everything I play.”

Wozniacki must fancy her chances to reclaiming the Eastbourne title as she continues her preparations for Wimbledon where she aims to this year reach further than her career best of the last 16.

Wozniacki added: “I love playing here, it’s one of my favourite events.

“It’s always low key, it’s fun, big crowds – the crowd is always so nice and cheering all of us on. And it’s kind of nice to have that calm before the storm of Wimbledon.”

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