Wozniacki wins through in serving nightmare

ESPN staff
February 21, 2013
There was nothing wrong with Caroline Wozniacki's ground strokes but her serving was poor © PA Photos

Eighth seed Caroline Wozniacki secured her place in the semi-finals of the Duty Free Tennis Championships in Dubai with a 4-6 6-1 6-4 victory over Marion Bartoli.

World No. 10 Wozniacki was put under pressure for the first time in this tournament and the weaknesses on her serve will be noted by her next opponent Petra Kvitova.

Serving was a hindrance to both players' game throughout the two-hour-and-33-minute match, and was best underlined in the first set when Wozniacki broke Bartoli three times only to lose four games on her own serve, and thus the set.

The Dane roared back in the second while Bartoli's first serve, at 50% in the first set, collapsed and she only found her opponent's service box three times.

The momentum swings did not stabilise in the third set but Wozniacki judged the see-sawing changes the best and made the breakthrough to go 4-2 up from where she finished her opponent off, despite, inevitably, losing another break of serve.

Kvitova earned her place in the semi-finals by beating Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3 6-4 to take her head-to-head record against the Pole to 3-1.

Doubles partners Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani will meet in the semi-finals following contrasting victories.

Vinci used her usual mixture of changes of pace and spin to outfox the No. 7 seed Sam Stosur, while Errani produced a mixed bag in her three-set win over Nadia Petrova.

The fifth seed Errani faced a barrage of serving power from Petrova, who send down eight aces and seven double faults, but stood firm to progress. A tight first set saw Errani convert the two break points she crafted to move ahead, but the second was one-way traffic as Petrova took it to love.

Errani broke at the start of the third set, but could not initially cash in. Petrova broke back but Errani kept fashioning chances and she did enough to claim a 6-4 0-6 6-3 success.

Vinci's brilliance from the ground saw the Italian break on four occasions in her 6-2 6-4 win over Stosur.

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