Venus Williams bounced back from a disastrous first set to beat top seed Caroline Wozniacki 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the Auckland Classic final on Saturday.

The much-awaited showdown between the two former world number ones took nearly two hours to complete as Wozniacki controlled the pace of the match through the first nine games, before veteran Williams was able to work her way in.

The result leaves Williams unbeaten after six matches in her head-to-head record with the world’s eighth-ranked player, but for the first time she dropped a set to the Dane.

Wozniacki made a flying start, breaking the 34-year-old Williams in the third and fifth games as she struggled with her serve in swirling winds.

When Wozniacki broke again at the start of the second set it was the wake-up call Williams needed.

The American immediately broke back twice, turning the tables as she finally got her first serve to come good.

With her ground strokes stretching Wozniacki, Williams broke again to go 3-1 up in the third set and took the title with her fourth match point. – Agence France-Presse

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