Tennis: Kvitova closes on top spot as Wozniacki loses

Caroline Wozniacki fell in three sets to Agnieszka Radwanska. Photo / Getty Images
Caroline Wozniacki fell in three sets to Agnieszka Radwanska. Photo / Getty Images

Caroline Wozniacki says she is unfazed by being denied the chance of a showdown for the No.1 ranking with Petra Kvitova after she was eliminated by Pole Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarter-finals of the Sydney International.

The world No.8 needed three sets and well over two hours to defeat the top-seeded Wozniacki in a hard-fought 3-6 7-5 6-2 victory.

World No.2 Kvitova will dethrone Wozniacki as the world's top player if she wins this event.

Wozniacki, who was on course to meet Kvitova in the final, will need her Czech rival to be defeated before she lifts the trophy to remain No.1 going into next week's Australian Open.

But the Dane, who reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open and US Open last year, says the ranking is not even on her mind.

"To be honest, I don't think about it,'' Wozniacki said.

"The most important thing is to be healthy and be able to play and play well.

"I mean, what happens happens - it doesn't matter.''

Wozniacki, who had an injury scare in the final set, needing an injury time-out to attend to her left wrist, says she will have it assessed on Thursday but is confident of being fit for next week's Australian Open.

"I hope it's not serious,'' she said.

"I could feel it today, especially in the third set, but I'm going to go get it checked out tomorrow and hopefully it's okay.

"I should be completely fine for the Australian Open.''

It looked business as usual after the Dane cruised through the first set 6-3, but Radwanska found her groove in the topsy-turvy second set.

She scored the early break to race to a 4-1 lead but Wozniacki quickly broke back to nullify the advantage and eventually bring games level at 4-4.

Wozniacki broke the Pole again to take the lead for the first time in the second set at 5-4 and give herself the chance to serve it out.

Radwanska, however, determined to keep herself in the match, broke right back to go to 5-5 and won her next service game for a 6-5 lead.

The next game proved the turning point of the match with Radwanska eventually breaking the Dane, needing four set points to wrap it 7-5 and force a decider.

Radwanska seemed to have the momentum in the third set, breaking the top seed who was struggling with her wrist during the set, to go 5-2 up.

Wozniacki stepped up to serve but Radwanska, who could see the finish line, brought up three match points on the Dane's serve.

She only needed one to wrap up the match 6-2 in the final set.

Radwanska will meet world No.3 Belarusian Victoria Azarenka in a semi-final on Thursday, while China's Li Na will do battle with the second-ranked Kvitova for a spot in the final.

- AAP

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