Woz wilts in Sydney heat as Strycova prevails

Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:51am EST
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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Caroline Wozniacki's eighth attempt at reaching the Sydney International semi-finals wilted in the stifling Australian heat on Wednesday with the former world number one going down to Barbora Strycova in a three-set slugfest.

Strycova prevailed 7-5 6-7(6) 6-4 over her 10th seeded Danish opponent in a three-hour and 20 minute marathon played out in temperatures of around 40 degrees Celsius at the Ken Rosewall Arena.

The 30-year-old Czech next meets second seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat Chinese qualifier Duan Yingying 6-3 6-2 in the last quarter-final of the day at the Australian Open warmup event.

Wozniacki has never progressed beyond the quarter-finals in Sydney and she appeared to be heading for a straight-sets defeat when Strycova claimed the opener and raced to a 5-0 lead in the tiebreaker of the next.

Wozniacki, however, won seven of the next eight points to force a decider but the unseeded Strycova reeled off the last three games to seal victory under the scorching sun.

"You just try and think like you're on a beach drinking pina coladas," Wozniacki joked.

"That's basically your train of thought. You know that it's the same for both players, so I was just trying to mentally just try and keep cool. But it was really, really hot out there.

"On the positive side of things, I can eat whatever I want now because I have burned a lot of calories today," she said.

Canadian Eugenie Bouchard and British number one Johanna Konta kept it simple in their quarter-finals to set up a last four showdown after straight-set victories.   Continued...