Hong Kong Open: Caroline Wozniacki faces Kristina Mladenovic in final after beating defending champion

Hong Kong: Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki fought her way to the Hong Kong Open finals Saturday after beating defending champion Jelena Jankovic.

The currently 22nd-ranked Wozniacki will face France's Kristina Mladenovic, ranked 54, on Sunday.

"I'm looking forward to it, it's a new day tomorrow and I'm going to do my best," Wozniacki, 26, told reporters.

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark returns a shot to Jelena Jankovic of Serbia during the semi-final match at the Hong Kong Open. AP

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark returns a shot to Jelena Jankovic of Serbia during the semi-final match at the Hong Kong Open. AP

"She played really well today so I was really pleased with the way I managed to still win this match in two sets," she said of Jankovic.

Serbian Jankovic, ranked 37, had a strong start but Wozniacki quickly took the lead in the middle of the first set and won the match 6-3, 6-4.

Jankovic, also a former world number one, fought hard after falling four games behind in the second set, with the crowds cheering her on.

Many in the stadium gave a standing ovation when Jankovic walked off the court.

In another hard fought match, Australian player Daria Gavrilova, ranked 38 in the world, lost to France's Mladenovic 7-5, 6-3.

Gavrilova was visibly upset, and threw her racket onto the ground in frustration during contested games in the second set, which was played in the heat of the afternoon sun.

"I think it was a big fight out there," Mladenovic, 23, told reporters after the match.

Many were shocked on Friday when Gavrilova eliminated top ranked Angelique Kerber of Germany.

Kerber, who is leading the way to the WTA finals in Singapore, said after her Friday defeat that the game was not her best and that she was looking forward to some rest.

"I've been playing a lot of matches this year, and I think I need a few days off to get ready for Singapore," she said.

Updated Date: Oct 15, 2016 20:06 PM

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