January 10, 2020 / 2:33 AM / in 7 months

Wozniacki, Williams set up busy weekend in Auckland

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Caroline Wozniacki and Serena Williams guaranteed themselves a busy weekend at the Auckland Classic as they both advanced on Friday to the semi-finals of the singles and the final of the doubles.

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - China Open - Women's Singles - Semi-finals - National Tennis Center, Beijing, China - October 5, 2019. Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in action against Naomi Osaka of Japan. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Wozniacki ended not only her hex at the hands of Julia Goerges but also the German’s 12-match unbeaten run in New Zealand’s largest city with the 6-1 6-4 victory to join good friend Williams in Saturday’s singles semi-finals.

Williams had earlier overcome tricky winds to beat Germany’s Laura Siegemund 6-4 6-3.

The pair then combined in the last match on the main court at the Auckland Tennis Centre to beat Belgian pair Kirsten Flipkens and Alison Van Uytvanck 7-6 (9) 6-2 and advance to Sunday’s doubles final.

“It feels great, it has been so much fun,” said Wozniacki, who only entered the doubles with Williams to play together once before the Dane retires after the Australian Open. “I’m so happy to be playing with Serena and so happy to still be in the singles.”

The results set up the possibility of a perfect farewell to Auckland for Wozniacki, who’s established herself as a crowd favourite after playing the tournament every year since 2015.

She had lost her two previous matches in Auckland to the two-time defending champion Goerges, including in the final in 2018.

Wozniacki, however, showed no signs of fatigue from a two- hour, 19-minute, three-set match against 2017 champion Lauren Davis that went late into Thursday’s evening session. She beat the 31-year-old Goerges 6-1 6-4 in just 75 minutes.

“I have had some tough matches against Julia in the past and I knew this one would be tough as well,” Wozniacki said. “Even though it was 6-1 in the first set, I still felt a lot of pressure, because she has big serves and big shots so I needed to fight for every point.”

Wozniacki will now face Jessica Pegula in the semi-finals. The American became the first player to qualify for the last four when France’s Alize Cornet retired with a leg injury in the second set of their quarter-final. Pegula had been leading 6-0 3-2 when Cornet retired.

Top seed Williams will next meet third seed Amanda Anisimova, who needed almost two hours to beat Canadian wild card Eugenie Bouchard 6-2 3-6 6-4 in the first match of the evening session.

“It has been my lifelong dream,” the 18-year-old Anisimova said of facing Williams on Saturday. “I said before the tournament that my biggest wish was to play her before she retires so I am honestly the happiest I have ever been.”

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; editing by Larry King

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