Thursday, February 22, 2024

Wozniacki dumped out by Pennetta

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BEIJING: Italian Flavia Pennetta stunned world number one Caroline Wozniacki with a fierce 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 (7/2) comeback in the quarterfinals of the China Open on Friday.

The Dane looked to be in control before Pennetta began a fightback, winning the second set to nil, and dominating a third set tie-break. Pennetta, the world number 26, had lost all five of their previous meetings.

Wozniacki has claimed six WTA trophies this season but – despite her world ranking – is still searching for her first grand slam crown.

Injured Ivanovic

pulls out

Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, the 11th seed and a winner last week in Tokyo, reached the final four after Serbian Ana Ivanovic retired with a back injury while trailing 6-3, 3-2.

“I’ve been struggling with my back since actually beginning of last week in Tokyo,” the former world number one said.

“I’ve been doing lots of treatments on it, but it hasn’t been really getting much better. “I surprised myself that I got to this stage at all.”

Giant-killing Romanian qualifier Monica Niculescu fought back from a set down against former champion Maria Kirilenko to reach the semifinals and keep her dream run alive.

Niculescu, the world number 57, who knocked out French Open champion Li Na in the first round, recovered from a slow start to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Niculescu will play the winner of the match between German ninth seed Andrea Petkovic and Russian 13th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

In the men’s draw, third seed Tomas Berdych crushed Fernando Verdasco 6-1, 6-0 in 65 minutes, one of the heaviest defeats of the Spaniard’s career.

Berdych opened with a loss of serve but then turned on the afterburners to win 12 straight games.

Berdych has yet to win a title in 2011. Only he and Frenchman Gael Monfils from the top 10 are without a trophy this year.

He will play his seventh semi-final of the year against either French top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Spain’s Juan Carlos Ferrero. Croatian Ivan Ljubicic beat Russian Mikhail Youzhny 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (4/7), 6-2. (Agencies)

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