A 16-minute game and a fifth match point is what it took for Caroline Wozniacki to send off a persistent Maria Sakkari on Friday afternoon. Playing her third match in three days, Wozniacki toppled Sakkari, 6-2, 6-2, to earn the second of the four semifinal spots at the Volvo Car Open.
After battling past Mihaela Buzărnescu in her previous match, Wozniacki was dialed in today, winning the first four games of the match. And despite falling behind 2-0 in the second, the No. 5-seeded Dane won the next six games—the last one a 16-minute marathon.
"So happy that I won that game," Wozniacki said during her post-match interview on Tennis Channel. "She really stepped it up and wasn't missing anything and started serving all the first serves. I really wasn't doing anything wrong, I thought. You know, she aced me on the second serve for the first time, and yeah, I was just happy to get that win."
This will be Wozniacki's first semifinal since winning the China Open last September. Following her victory that month, she revealed that she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis before the US Open. In January, after and early exit in Auckland, she was unable to defend her Australian Open title, falling to Maria Sharapova in the third round.
"After Australia, i didn't play for over two months, two and a half months. And I was just sick, trying to get better. And finally I said ok I need to get back on court and managed to practice a couple of days before Indian Wells and gave it all I had."
Up next for Wozniacki is Petra Martic, who upset No. 9-seeded Belinda Bencic on Friday.