Wozniacki finds mojo in time

Source:AFP Published: 2017/9/21 22:38:40

Fourth seed Konta ousted in Tokyo tournament

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark celebrates her win against Shelby Rogers of the US at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Thursday. Photo: VCG

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki clawed her way into the Pan Pacific Open quarterfinals on Thursday, narrowly avoiding the fate fourth seed Johanna Konta earlier suffered in Tokyo.

Former world No.1 Wozniacki recovered from a break down in the final set to beat American Shelby Rogers 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 after finding her mojo just in time.

The third seed, a two-time Pan Pacific winner chasing her 26th career title, stormed through the second set to level the match with an ace before inexplicably allowing ­Rogers to open a 3-0 lead in the decider.

But Wozniacki came roaring back, punching a backhand deep into the corner to turn the tide and spark a purple patch of form where the Dane suddenly began smashing winners from all angles.

Rogers had no answer to Wozniacki's unerring accuracy thereafter and the world No.6 finished her off with a looping forehand the American could only dump into the net.

"I knew she has powerful strokes and a big serve. It definitely was not easy," Wozniacki said in a courtside interview. "I'm just happy to win this one."

Konta, who crashed out in the first round of the US Open last month, again paid for her profligacy as she was upset 7-5, 7-6 by Czech Barbora Strycova to become the first major casualty in Tokyo.

Britain's world No.7 committed 43 unforced errors and squandered a 4-2 lead in the first set against Strycova, who came into the match 18 places below Konta in the WTA rankings.

Konta also blew several chances in the second, particularly in the tiebreaker, which she surrendered 7-5 after whiffing another forehand wastefully long to give Strycova her first win over a top-10 opponent this year.

"I definitely wasn't as match-fit as I would've liked," said Konta. "But for my first match in the last few weeks, I don't think I did that badly."

"I don't have any words to say because I'm very emotional and very happy that I won against Johanna," said the 31-year-old Strycova.

Elsewhere, ninth seed Caroline Garcia safely advanced, the Frenchwoman thrashing Japan's Kurumi Nara 6-1, 6-3 to set up a quarterfinal with top seed Garbine Muguruza.

The Spaniard is playing her first tournament since reaching the top of the women's world rankings.

Posted in: TENNIS

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