Top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki outlasted French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 Friday to reach the final of the Brussels Open.
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She will face Peng Shuai in Saturday’s final after the Chinese upset No. 3-ranked Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-3.
In a match lasting 2 hours, 32 minutes, Wozniacki kept the coolest head in the final set and will now seek her fourth title of the year for a perfect warmup to the French Open.
The 31st-ranked Peng relied on her powerful serve throughout the match to pressure Zvonareva and capitalized on a string of unforced errors by the Russian to reach her first final since 2008 and earn a shot at a first WTA tour victory.
”I’m really excited to go to the final,” she said after getting her first win against Zvonareva in eight attempts.
”I played her many times and lost many times,” Peng said.
Yet she was not intimidated and produced dominating play throughout.
She slammed seven aces on the slow clay of the overcast Primerose center court, compared to none for the Russian. Zvonareva never found her touch as she was pressed all over the court.
In the best match of the tournament so far, Schiavone fought back against Wozniacki with attacking play to force a third set. Schiavone had lost to the Dane three times on hard court since beating her in the quarterfinal on the way to the French Open title.
In a nervous third set, both players were error-prone on their serve, but in the end Wozniacki won the biggest points. She won the match with a volley that wrongfooted Schiavone.