Wozniak bounced from Rogers Cup

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark hits a return during her match against Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada...

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark hits a return during her match against Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Montreal, August 11, 2012. (Christinne Muschi/REUTERS)

BRIAN DALY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:25 PM ET

MONTREAL - The Rogers Cup semifinals won’t include Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak, but that won't diminish her rare achievement.

The 24-year-old lost her quarterfinal match 6-4, 6-4 to former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki on Saturday, but the native of Blainville, Que., served notice that she’s back in the mix on the WTA tour after a hobbling wrist injury.

"When I came back ... I wasn't sure how I would perform but I'm in good health and my confidence is up and my game is almost back to where it was," said Wozniak, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 21 in 2009 before wrist tendonitis knocked her out of the top 100.

"I have to keep working. I'm starting to feel that everything is coming together."

Wozniak displayed impressive power against her more accomplished opponent, but made more errors and usually blinked first during the baseline rallies.

The Danish world No. 8, who has beaten the Canadian in eight of nine career showdowns, struck first in Saturday’s match and broke her Canadian opponent’s serve in the third game.

But as the home crowd roared its approval, the hometown girl broke Wozniacki right back to tie it up at 2-2.

Wozniacki responded immediately, breaking Wozniak right back to take a 3-2 lead.

Both women held serve in the next two games In the sixth game, the battle went to deuce and Wozniak drew a huge roar when she powered a forehand winner out of her opponent’s reach.

But the Dane wore out her Canadian opponent with consistency, making fewer unforced errors despite a bandaged knee.

She broke Wozniak in the tenth game to take the set 6-4, showing superior efficiency by converting on both of her break points in the set.

Wozniak’s highlight of the set came in the fifth game when both women came to the net and the Danish star volleyed, only to have Wozniak hit the ball point-blank and put the ball away to shouts of delight from her thousands of fans.

Wozniak went on to hold serve to go up 3-2, but her Danish opponent protected her serve to tie it up at three games apiece.

While the Quebecer tried to gain the advantage by coming to the net, Wozniacki was content to turn the match into a baseline contest in which she came out on top.

Wozniacki took three of the final four games of the second set, including a decisive break in the seventh game.

Due to earlier rain delays, Wozniacki played two matches on the day. She had earlier won a three-set duel against American Varvara Lepchenko 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

"It was tough today, two tough matches," said Wozniacki. "And I'm sorry (to) the crowd but hopefully you'll be cheering for me now."

She goes on to face sixth-ranked Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, who put away unseeded Austrian Tamira Paszek 6-3, 6-2 in just 67 minutes. Both semifinalists are looking for their first WTA win of the year, and Wozniacki leads the career head-to-head series 3-2.

"She's been playing great this week," Wozniacki said of Kvitova, who has only lost seven games in her last two matches. "She's a great player and it's not going to be easy. I'm just looking forward to getting a good night's rest and hopefully be fresh for (Sunday)."

Aleksandra Wozniak had advanced to the quarterfinal by defeating 26th-ranked American Christina McHale 7-6 (5), 6-4 earlier on Saturday.

The victory, in a match cut short by rain Friday, made Wozniak the first Canadian woman in 20 years to move on to the quarterfinals on home soil.

Montrealer Patricia Hy-Boulais reached the Rogers Cup quarters in 1992.

Wozniak is sure to rise from her No. 55 WTA ranking despite the loss on Saturday. She has now advanced to two quarterfinals this season.

The Canadian’s match had been halted just before 4 p.m. Friday with Wozniak one game away from winning the match.

She toppled three higher-ranked players to get the quarterfinals, having previously eliminated Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova (35th in the world) and former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, now 18th on the tour.

Wozniak now has a chance to move back into the top 30 for the first time since 2009 when she reached a career-high ranking of No. 21.

In 2010 and 2011, she slipped several spots in the standings due to numerous injuries and even dropped out of the top 100.

On the other side of the bracket, China's Li Na was the first player to qualify for the Rogers Cup semifinals Saturday, dispatching of world No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 6-1, just before a storm system shut down play for more than two hours.

Li, who is looking for her first WTA singles win of the year, dominated Radwanska by breaking her in five of her ten service games.

The rising Polish star said playing two matches in a day didn’t help her, but she acknowledged that the same condensed schedule didn’t seem to bother Li.

“She was just playing too good,” said Radwanska, who made her Grand Slam final debut this year at Wimbledon.

“Na Li was just playing unbelievable tennis today. I really couldn't do anything.”

Li admits that she has been hot so far in Montreal.

“Yeah, I think today I play(ed) unbelievable match for both matches,” said Li, the 2011 French Open champion.

Li, who bested Quebec's Eugenie Bouchard in the previous round, will face Lucia Safarova of the Czech Republic, who needed just 58 minutes to down Roberta Vinci of Italy 6-2, 6-2.

In doubles action, Russia’s Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovakia advanced to the final by beating Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond of the United States 6-4, 6-4.

They’ll face the duo of Klaudia Jans-Ignacik of Poland and France’s Kristina Mladenovic for the Rogers Cup doubles championship on Monday.


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