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Wozniacki rallies to reach Eastbourne final

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:34

The 18-year-old from Denmark was the only seed remaining in the last four and she needed all her reserves of determination to stay alive against Aleksandra Wozniak, eventually triumphing 3-6 6-4 6-4 at Devonshire Park.

“I really enjoy playing here,” Wozniacki said afterwards. “It was really difficult (due to the wind), we both struggled a bit but both hung in there.”

She will face France’s Virginie Razzano in the final after she benefited from the retirement of countrywoman Marion Bartoli in today’s first semi-final.

Wozniak had kicked off a bad week for the big names when she thrashed French Open champion and second seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in round one. She was immediately into her stride on Friday and capitalised on two of three break points to take the opening set 6-3, punishing Wozniacki’s second serve ruthlessly.

The second and third both proved close affairs, but in each Wozniacki, the world number nine and sixth seed, claimed two breaks to Wozniak’s one.

And the talented teenager required just one match point to sew up a spot in the final, bludgeoning her opponent onto the back foot with a series of huge forehands and eventually forcing a wild backhand from Wozniak which flew well wide of the tramlines.

Friday’s first semi-final ended prematurely, and in acrimony, as Razzano progressed following the retirement of Bartoli.

Razzano, the world number 25 who defeated top seed Elena Dementieva in the second round, had taken the first set 6-4 after claiming four of the seven breaks of service. She then held to lead 1-0 in the second before Bartoli, a Wimbledon finalist two years ago, pulled out with an apparent muscle strain in her right leg.

Bartoli refused to shake her countrywoman’s hand after Razzano recently criticised her fitness record in a newspaper article. It was the second round running that Razzano had benefited from an injury, after Agnieszka Radwanska also pulled out early in their quarter-final.

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