Wozniacki triumphs over injured Mladenovic

By Russell Greaves 16 October 2016 49
Wozniacki triumphs over injured Mladenovic

Caroline Wozniacki continued her resurgence with a hard-fought victory over a hamstrung Kristina Mladenovic to seal the Hong Kong Open title on Sunday.

The Dane, who won her first tournament of 2016 in Tokyo last month, claimed a 6-1 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 triumph over her unseeded rival.

Having overcome reigning champion Jelena Jankovic in the semi-final, fifth seed Wozniacki played with an assuredness that had for so long been missing from the former world number one's game.

After surviving a break-point scare in the opening game, Wozniacki broke at the first two opportunities to surge into a 5-0 lead.

Mladenovic eventually got on the board, but it only delayed the inevitable.

The Frenchwoman took a medical time-out before holding serve in the opening game of second set, with the world number 54 showing some discomfort in her right hamstring.

She returned to apply pressure in a see-saw second set which included a run of four consecutive breaks of serve.

Wozniacki finally steadied the ship and took it to a tie-break, where Mladenovic's growing confidence was evident in her aggressive approach to points, which saw her level the match.

But Mladenovic's injury problems returned with a vengeance in the decider as she struggled to serve, allowing Wozniacki to seize the initiative and secure her 25th WTA title, while her opponent was left in tears.

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Russell Greaves


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