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April 10, 2011

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Wozniacki rallies to set up last 4 Jankovic clash

TOP-RANKED Caroline Wozniacki rallied from 2-4 down in the third set to defeat Yanina Wickmayer, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 and reach the Family Circle Cup semifinals in Charleston, South Carolina, on Friday.

It was another tight match for Wozniacki, who needed two tiebreakers a day earlier to beat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. In this one, Wickmayer looked like the steadier player, winning points with deep forehands and pushing Wozniacki all over the court. Wickmayer kept the pressure on in the second set as she took a 3-1 lead against the Dane.

But as she did against Zahlavova Strycova, Wozniacki pulled herself up with a string of laser forehands and well-placed shots. She won five of final six games to even the match. Again, the Belgian grabbed control in the decisive set, breaking Wozniacki on her way to a 4-2 lead.

"I knew that I was going to get one chance, and I had to take that," Wozniacki said.

Wozniacki won the next game at love, then broke Wickmayer's serve. When Wickmayer threatened to break a game later, Wozniacki pounded a 140 kilometers per hour serve that her opponent couldn't handle.

Wickmayer sailed a forehand wide and Wozniacki was in front for good. Wickmayer had little left in her final service game, which Wozniacki took at love to win the match.

"In every match, she finds a way to get out of it and beat her opponent," Wickmayer said. "That's most important."

Wozniacki will face another difficult match, a semifinal against Jelena Jankovic, the Serb ending the run of 18-year-old American Christina McHale 6-2, 6-0.

The other semifinal will feature China's 11th-seeded Peng Shuai against Elena Vesnina, the only unseeded player among the final four. Peng defeated India's Sania Mirza 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 while Russian Vesnina beat No. 12 seed Julia Goerges of Germany, also by 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.


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