Wozniacki to face Pliskova in rain-delayed Qatar Open final
DOHA, Qatar (AP) Former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki will face second-seeded Karolina Pliskova in the final of the Qatar Open after both were forced to play back-to-back matches in the quarterfinals and semifinals on Friday night due to rain playing havoc the schedule.
Wozniacki swept past Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 6-1, 6-2 to reach her second final in Doha - six years after her first, which she lost to Vera Zvonareva.
''It sounds amazing, but also makes me feel a little old,'' the 26-year-old Wozniacki said. ''It's been a great week, really tough conditions with all the waiting, but I managed to keep focus and play some of my best tennis out there.''
Pliskova hit a career-best 21 aces to beat third-seeded Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in the other semifinal, her first victory over the Slovakian player in four meetings.
''I'm really excited, especially after what a long, tough day it's been,''Pliskova said. ''Having two wins today is amazing, and I just beat Domi for the first time in my life.''
The schedule had been backed up due to frequent rain delays during the week, forcing the players into double duty on Friday.
Earlier in the evening, Wozniacki beat Lauren Davis of the United States 7-5, 6-1, while Pliskova defeated Zhang Shuai of China 6-2, 6-0.
Puig also had to complete her quarterfinal match earlier Friday, edging Daria Kasatkina 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. Cibulkova was the only one of the four semifinalists to make it through on Thursday.
Altogether, Wozniacki spent more than three hours on court Friday evening, while Pliskova played for just under three hours.
Wozniacki has won all three of her previous matches against Pliskova, but their last encounter came in 2014 before Pliskova reached last year's U.S. Open final and became a top-10 player.
''She's playing really well, serving really well. It's going to be a great final and I'm excited for it,'' Wozniacki said.