Tokyo - Top-seed Caroline Wozniacki
survived a nail-biting scare on Friday against Angelique Kerber of Germany at
the Pan Pacific Open, advancing to a semi-final showdown against Belinda
The former world number one clinched a 6-2,
2-6, 6-3 win over Kerber, who has won six of their previous 10 encounters.
Wozniacki comfortably overpowered her
fifth-seed rival in the first set.
But the second set went to the German
left-hander, who consistently delivered sharp shots deep into corners, forcing
Wozniacki to run along the baseline.
But Wozniacki, who won the Pan Pacific Open
in 2010, remained calm and picked up the pace toward the end of the second set,
before firing off blistering shots to win key games in the third set.
"I think we both played really well
(in the third set). It could have gone both ways, but I won the most important
points. I am very happy about that," Wozniacki said.
The victory sets up a semi-final match
against eighth-seed Bencic, who beat Spain's third-seed Garbine Muguruza 7-6
The 18-year-old Swiss has stacked up
impressive wins this year by beating the likes of Serena Williams and Simona
She has won all of her three encounters
against Wozniacki in 2015, including a victory in August in Toronto.
Meanwhile Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland,
the 2011 Pan Pacific winner, beat Czech fourth-seed Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 6-2
in a separate quarter-final.