• Wozniacki in Stuttgart final after Halep marathon

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    Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki returns the ball to Romania’s Simona Halep in their semifinal at the WTA Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany. AFP PHOTO

    Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki returns the ball to Romania’s Simona Halep in their semifinal at the WTA Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany. AFP PHOTO

    STUTTGART, Germany: Caroline Wozniacki reached her third final of 2015 when she saw off Simona Halep in a marathon Stuttgart semifinal that lasted almost three hours on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

    The former world number one, who ran the 2014 New York marathon for charity, needed two hours, 58 minutes to claim a 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 victory.

    She will now meet local favorite Angelique Kerber in Sunday’s final after the German enjoyed a 6-3, 6-1 win over American Madison Brengle.

    “I felt good right through until the end,” said Denmark’s Wozniacki.

    “I love these long matches and if I can run a marathon, then I can play in great games like that.

    “We needed nearly three hours and that would be a pretty good marathon time.”

    Wozniacki took the first set with the first break at 6-5, but the second was a topsy-turvy affair with five of the 12 games finishing in a break before the Romanian levelled.

    Wozniacki turned the screw in the third to break her opponent when her 3-1 lead quickly became 5-1 and although Halep rallied to bring it back to 5-2, the blonde Dane served out to convert her fourth match point.

    Having lost the final in Auckland last January, but won Kuala Lumpur’s Malaysian Open in March, the 24-year-old will be bidding for her second title in 2015.

    There was some consolation for Romania’s Halep who will take over from Maria Sharapova as the world number two on Monday after her run to the semifinals.

    The 23-year-old was competing in her fourth semi-final of the year after winning the Shenzhen, Dubai and Indian Wells titles, but had to deal with the distraction of a death threat on Thursday night which led to heightened security in Stuttgart.

    AFP

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