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Wozniacki vs Sevastova tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Wozniacki looks to improve to 6-0 vs Sevastova in China Open final

Hannah Wilks in WTA Tour 6 Oct 2018
  • Caroline Wozniacki faces Anastasija Sevastova in the final of the China Open
  • Wozniacki vs Sevastova is live from Beijing on Sunday at 4.30pm local/9.30am BST
Caroline Wozniacki (FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Caroline Wozniacki goes for her second China Open title – eight years after the first – as she takes on Anastasija Sevastova in the Beijing final on Sunday.

World no. 2 Caroline Wozniacki hopes to preserve her perfect record against US Open semifinalist Anastasija Sevastova on Sunday when they clash for the China Open title.

Australian Open champion Wozniacki has been in a bit of a slump since capturing her second title of the year in Eastbourne at the end of June, going 3-6 through Wimbledon, Montreal, Cincinnati, the US Open, Tokyo (where she was the defending champion) and Wuhan – a poorly-timed run of bad form that encompassed some of the biggest events of the season.

But the Dane has turned things around in the nick of time at the last Premier Mandatory of the season in Beijing – not just securing her place at the WTA Finals Singapore thanks to reaching the quarterfinals and other results breaking her way, but ensuring that she will come into the season-ending championships, where she is defending her title, with confidence and form (as well as buffering her ranking against those points dropping off). 

Caroline Wozniacki in action against Wang Qiang (Photo by Di Yin/Getty Images)
‘I think I felt better this week in general body-wise,’ Wozniacki said after reaching the final in Beijing. ‘Just mentally I've been feeling much better. I think I've upped my game, just played better and better for every match. I found my rhythm. Very happy with my performance this week.’

This isn’t all about warming up for Singapore, though: Beijing is a significant prize in its own right. It would be the third Premier Mandatory title of Wozniacki’s career, after she won the China Open back in 2009 when she beat Vera Zvonareva and Indian Wells in 2013, beating Marion Bartoli. And it would be well-earned, with the 28-year-old putting an end to the runs of a series of in-form players in Beijing without dropping a set despite coming in with little form. After beating Belinda Bencic and Petra Martic to open her campaign, Wozniacki beat Anett Kontaveit, last week’s Wuhan Open runner-up, to secure her place in Singapore and in the last eight, where she ousted Katerina Siniakova, the Czech who made back-to-back Wuhan and Beijing quarterfinals after qualifying for the main draws at both events.

Perhaps Wozniacki’s most impressive win of the week however was against Wang Qiang in the semifinals on Saturday. Wang has put together a quietly tremendous run of form on home soil in 2018, winning her first two WTA Tour titles in Nanchang and Guangzhou, making the semifinals of Hiroshima and Wuhan and electrifying the crowds in Beijing by beating three top-20 players to make the final four of the China Open. But although Wang has played a lot of recent tennis lately, she wasn’t outlasted when she faced Wozniacki – simply outplayed. 

The world no. 2, who raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set and never really looked back even when Wang threatened to rally, breaking back to 2-2 in the second set, was as crisp and precise off the ground as she was against Siniakova in the quarterfinals when she made just seven unforced errors. Wozniacki didn’t perhaps serve as well as she did against the Czech, but was very, very effective on her first serve when she did land it in, and generally bullied the match as she has done her last three encounters with Wang, keeping the Chinese player in an uncomfortable oscillation between being pushed too far behind the baseline to have a chance of attacking, or being forced to go for too much and giving up the unforced error too early in the rally.

‘I stayed very calm and collected and just focused,’ Wozniacki said after the 6-1, 6-3 victory. ‘I kind of knew what my game plan was, then just went out there and just tried to do the best that I could. It worked out for me today.’

Back in the China Open final after eight years, Wozniacki faces US Open semifinalist Anastasija Sevastova, who is looking for the fourth – and by far the biggest – title of her career in Beijing. 

Since ending her brief retirement and embarking on her second go at a tennis career in 2015, Sevastova’s progress up the rankings has been at times steady and at times meteoric, but it’s only really ever gone in one direction. The Latvian has just got better and better, making back-to-back US Open quarterfinals in 2016-17 before breaking through to the semifinals in 2018 when she scored wins over Elina Svitolina and defending champion Sloane Stephens.

Anastasija Sevastova  (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Currently ranked world no. 20, and with the International-level title in Bucharest already to her name in 2018 as well as a runner-up finish in Mallorca and semifinal appearances in Brisbane and Charleston, Sevastova is projected to rise to a new career-high ranking of world no. 12 as the result of her run to the China Open final. While Sevastova was helped by a walkover from Madison Keys after beating Alize Cornet in the first round, the 28-year-old took out one of the WTA Tour’s most-improved players in 2018, Donna Vekic, in the third round before ousting former Dominika Cibulkova in the quarterfinals – all without dropping a set. 

Up against Naomi Osaka in the semifinals, Sevastova played pretty much the perfect match to send the US Open champion home, chopping and peeling at her armour with variety and deftly skewering the Japanese-American player with her trademark drop-shots. Osaka was having a hard time with a back injury and seemed to have found all her recent feats catching up with her at once, but it was a clinical performance from Sevastova – and the Latvian player served surprisingly well, too, with nine aces to her credit and a very impressive 76% of points won behind her first serve. 

‘[Sevastova is] definitely a tricky opponent,’ Wozniacki said. ‘She mixes up the pace. She uses the angles. She uses the spin and the slice. So it will be a match where I have to stay steady, I have to stay focused, I have to stay disciplined, go for my shots when I have the opportunity.’

Wozniacki certainly knows what she has to do on the court in Sunday’s final – she’s won all five matches the two have played against each other in the past. Sevastova has only ever taken one set against the Dane, and that was on clay in Rome in May of this year, with the Latvian never really coming close to taking a set on hard courts. It’s not hard to see why: Sevastova can’t overpower Wozniacki, and her variety bothers the consistent second seed much less than it does error-prone big hitters. Wozniacki to right to say that she has to stay disciplined – she doesn’t want to drop too far behind the baseline and give the talented Sevastova too much space and time to create – but this match, and the China Open title, should go to her on Sunday. 

Wozniacki vs Sevastova China Open final tennis is live from Beijing on Sunday at 4.30pm local/9.30am BST

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Wozniacki vs Sevastova tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Wozniacki looks to improve to 6-0 vs Sevastova in China Open final

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