Wellington: Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki trounced Alexandra Dulgheru for the loss of just one game to reach the WTA Auckland Classic semi-finals on Thursday. The third seed, who has not dropped a set all week, took only 52 minutes to overwhelm Romania's Dulgheru 6-1, 6-0 and set up a last-four clash with American Sloane Stephens.
Caroline Wozniacki celebrates a point in Auckland yesterday
The second semi-final will be between Germany's Julia Goerges and qualifier Tamira Paszek from Austria, whose head-to-head record is 2-2. They benefited from being in the same half of the draw as the top two seeds, Venus Williams and Ana Ivanovic, who were first round casualties.
Paszek, ranked 172nd in the world, survived a three-hour marathon quarter-final against Kirsten Flipkens from Belgium, finally winning 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 6-3. Flipkens was down 1-4 in the second set before winning it on a tie-break, and she recovered from 0-5 to 3-5 in the final set before Paszek got over the line. "I'm delighted that I was strong enough mentally to focus and deal with the setbacks and actually close out the match," said Paszek, 25.
Goerges also came through a three-set quarter-final when she came from behind to beat Japan's Nao Hibino 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 6-4. Stephens, the fifth seed, ended the run of popular Briton Naomi Broady, who conquered second seed Ivanovic in the first round. Broady hinted at another shock when she took the first set to a tiebreak. But Stephens clicked into gear to reach the semis 7-6 (8/6), 6-3.