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Wozniacki advances in WTA Finals; Halep to keep top ranking

SINGAPORE (AP) – Caroline Wozniacki reached her second career final at the year-end WTA Finals with a 7-6 (9), 6-3 win over Karolina Pliskova on Saturday.

The sixth-ranked Wozniacki, a finalist in 2010, leads the tour with most match wins in the season at 59-21 as the Dane heads into Sunday’s championship match.

The third-ranked Pliskova’s loss is good news for Simona Halep, who will retain the No. 1 ranking through to next year.

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark makes a forehand return to Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic during their singles semifinal match at the WTA tennis tournament in Singapore, on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

Pliskova, playing in the year-end semifinals for the first time, needed to win the WTA Finals title to return to the No. 1 ranking for a second time this year.

Wozniacki improved her career record over Pliskova to 6-3, and is 3-2 in meetings this year.

Both players had six set points in the first set, but it was Wozniacki who capitalized on the sixth offering when Pliskova netted a backhand.

All six of Wozniacki’s set points were in the tiebreaker where she initially led 6-1. Pliskova had her first three set points on Wozniacki’s serve in the 10th game and three in the tiebreaker.

From 3-3 in the second set, Wozniacki won 12 of the last 15 points to take her place in the final.

Venus Williams plays Caroline Garcia in the other semifinal.

Also Saturday, Martina Hingis played the final match of her career when she and Chan Yung-Jan lost in the semifinal doubles to Timea Babos and Andrea Hlavackova 6-4, 7-6 (5).

Hingis and Chan won nine titles this season, including the U.S. Open trophy.

“I think it’s been an amazing journey and amazing career that I can be proud of,” said 37-year-old Hingis, who announced Thursday she was retiring at the end of the tournament. “It’s not really goodbye. I hope I’ll still be part of the game.”

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic makes a backhand return to Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during her singles semifinal match at the WTA tennis tournament in Singapore, on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic makes a backhand return to Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during her singles semifinal match at the WTA tennis tournament in Singapore, on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark celebrates after beating Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic during their singles semifinal match at the WTA tennis tournament in Singapore, on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark celebrates after beating Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic during their singles semifinal match at the WTA tennis tournament in Singapore, on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

Martina Hingis of Switzerland enters the court as she pairs up with Chan Yung-Jan of Taiwan during their doubles semifinal match against Timea Babos of Hungary and Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic at the WTA tennis tournament in Singapore, on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

Martina Hingis of Switzerland enters the court as she pairs up with Chan Yung-Jan of Taiwan during their doubles semifinal match against Timea Babos of Hungary and Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic at the WTA tennis tournament in Singapore, on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

Martina Hingis of Switzerland, paired with partner Chan Yung-jan of Taiwan, reacts after conceding a point to Timea Babos of Hungary and Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic during their doubles semifinal match at the WTA tennis tournament in Singapore, on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

Martina Hingis of Switzerland, paired with partner Chan Yung-jan of Taiwan, reacts after conceding a point to Timea Babos of Hungary and Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic during their doubles semifinal match at the WTA tennis tournament in Singapore, on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic makes a forehand return to Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their singles semifinal match at the WTA tennis tournament in Singapore, on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic makes a forehand return to Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their singles semifinal match at the WTA tennis tournament in Singapore, on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

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