Sabalenka beats Radwanska to reach Eastbourne final
EASTBOURNE, England (AP) Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki reached her third Eastbourne International final by beating fellow former No. 1 Angelique Kerber 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3 on Friday.
Wozniacki next faces the unseeded Aryna Sabalenka after the Belarusian knocked out 2008 champion Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.
Unseeded pair Lukas Lacko and Mischa Zverev will meet in the men’s final.
Wozniacki saved a match point at 5-6 in the second set, after an epic 24-shot rally, before eventually prevailing in 2 hours, 17 minutes. She won the title in 2009 and was runner-up last year.
”That was very tough,” she said. ”I was down match point and I think I got a little lucky hitting both lines, and then I somehow managed to get through.
”I always have tough matches against Angie, and I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy one today.”
Sabalenka advanced to her third career final after losing the previous two in Tianjin last year and Lugano in April.
She finished off the first set with her first ace but, after breaking Radwanska in the first game of the second, began spraying her shots and lost six games in a row.
Radwanska was serving at 3-2, 40-0 in the third when Sabalenka powered back by winning four straight games.
Sabalenka has beaten three top-20 players this week, including No. 7 and defending champion Karolina Pliskova on Thursday.
Lacko took less than an hour to defeat fourth-seeded Marco Cecchinato of Italy 6-3, 6-4 and reach his second ATP World Tour final, six and a half years after his first.
The 30-year-old Slovakian has grown in confidence since beating top-seeded Diego Schwartzman in the second round, the biggest win of his career.
German player Zverev beat Mikhail Kukushkin 7-6 (9), 6-4 in a match lasting just shy of two hours.