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Tennis: Wozniacki reaches Indian Wells final

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Eighth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki out-lasted fourth-seeded Angelique Kerber 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 on Friday to reach the women's final at Indian Wells for the third time in four years.

The Dane, formerly ranked No. 1 in the world, lifted the trophy in the California desert in 2011 and was runner-up in 2010.

She'll battle for the title on Sunday against the winner of the second semi-final between second-seeded Maria Sharapova and 13th-seeded Maria Kirilenko.

Sharapova is seeking a first title since her French Open triumph last year, which gave her a career Grand Slam. She is playing just her third tournament of the season after reaching the semi-finals at the Australian Open and at Doha.

She, too, has one victory and one runner-up finish at Indian Wells, but in Kirilenko she was coming up against a player brimming with confidence after toppling third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska and fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova.

Wozniacki, owner of 20 WTA titles, will be seeking her first tournament win since Moscow last year.

In an odd twist, both Wozniacki and Kerber had reached the semi-finals via walkover. Wozniacki had been slated to face top seed and defending champion Victoria Azarenka in the quarter-finals, but the Belarussian withdrew with painful inflammation in her right foot and ankle.

Kerber moved through when seventh-seeded Samantha Stosur of Australia pulled out of their quarter-final with a calf injury.

The two-hour, 31-minute match featured 14 breaks of serve -- seven in the third set.

After Kerber won the first set and broke Wozniacki to open the second, the Dane broke back for 2-2. Wozniacki saved five break points in a marathon seventh game that went to deuce nine times.

Wozniacki broke to end the set, and in a third set in which both continued to struggle on serve she again gained the decisive break to end it in the 12th.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130316/tennis-wozniacki-reaches-indian-wells-final-0