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HONG KONG OPEN

Wozniacki beats Mladenovic to lift Hong Kong Open title

The former world number one overcame the France player, who struggled with a leg injury, to lift her 25th WTA title.

Update:
Wozniacki beats Mladenovic to lift Hong Kong Open title
ANTHONY WALLACEAFP

Caroline Wozniacki beat Kristina Mladenovic to claim the Hong Kong Open title on Sunday in a marathon match lasting nearly three hours.

Former world number one Wozniacki, seeded fifth in the competition, stormed the first set 6-1 with unseeded Frenchwoman Mladenovic visibly despondent and limping slightly.

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BOBBY YIPREUTERS

The 23-year-old emerged in the second set with her right leg bandaged and renewed focus, forcing Wozniacki to dive around the court with a combination of drop shots and powerful drives.

The set went to 6-6 with Mladenovic, seeking her first WTA title after three losses in finals, sealing the tie-break 7-4 to go even.

Dressed all in green, a determined Wozniacki, 26, finally sealed victory in the third set as a tired Mladenovic was ultimately unable to match the Dane's power and consistency.

Frequently bending to lean on her racquet between points, Mladenovic was in tears as she desperately tried to fight back after Wozniacki took a 5-0 lead. Wozniacki eventually took the final set 6-2.

"I'm really pleased with my week this week -- there was some good tennis and long battles," Wozniacki told reporters. The Dane said the final had been a mental battle, as it was unclear to her how badly Mladenovic was hurt.

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BOBBY YIPREUTERS

Wozniacki: "There was a mental game and I won it"

"It wasn't easy mentally because sometimes she would look like she couldn't play, and then she would run like Speedy Gonzalez -- clearly it's not that bad if you can run side to side. There was definitely a mental game. I just happened to win it," she said.

Wozniacki herself has battled back from injury and has had a resurgent run of form in the past two months, reaching the semi-finals of the US Open and winning the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.

Still without a Grand Slam title to her name, she said it was her ambition to win one. "It's the only thing missing from my CV," she said.

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