TOKYO (AP) Former champion Caroline Wozniacki continued her late season resurgence by beating second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland on Saturday to advance to the final of the Pan Pacific Open.
Radwanska was close to victory, leading 5-3 in the second set, but Wozniacki seized momentum when she broke her opponent twice to win the last four games on her way to a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 win.
The U.S. Open semifinalist also came from 3-1 down in the third set, once again winning four straight games before closing out the match when Radwanska’s return went into the net.
“It was a tough match against a great player,” Wozniacki said. “We always have tough matches. I was happy to fight back even though I was down a break in the second set.”
The Dane will face Naomi Osaka of Japan in Sunday’s final. Osaka also rallied to beat Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Wozniacki drew on all her experience against Radwanska, beating her for the ninth time against only four losses.
“We practice together all the time so I knew what to expect,” Wozniacki said. “It was a good game, a good match. Nothing really surprised me.”
The former top-ranked player has faced ankle and wrist injuries this season.
“It’s always a grind when you are injured,” Wozniacki said. “You just have to go with it and work hard. It’s great to be back.”
LONDON — Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation’s player of the year awards.
At 31, Nadal becomes the oldest ITF men’s world champion after a season in which he won a 10th French Open and a third U.S. Open.
The Spaniard also became the oldest player to finish the year at No. 1 since the ATP rankings began in 1973.
Muguruza dropped only one set en route to her first Wimbledon title and finished the year at No. 2 behind Simona Halep.
“Becoming ITF world champion in such a competitive year is amazing for me,” said Muguruza, who is also Spanish. “(Nadal) is a great role model for all of us, so it is a great moment for tennis in Spain.”
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova has withdrawn from next month’s Australian Open after having surgery on her left wrist.
Tennis Australia on Friday said No. 12-ranked Kuznetsova and China’s Sasai Zheng, with a right knee injury, were the only players ranked in the top 100 who are confirmed as not playing the Jan. 15-28 tournament at Melbourne Park.
Serena Williams, who was pregnant while winning the 2017 Australian Open title and gave birth to her first child in September, “is anticipated to return,” Tennis Australia said.
Williams could equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles with another win at Melbourne Park. Serena Williams’ ranking has dropped to No. 22 during her break from the tour.