Wozniacki ousts Watson to set up Pliskova final

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Caroline Wozniacki held her nerve to overcome home hope Heather Watson and book her place in the Aegon International final against Karolina Pliskova.

The Dane, champion at this Premier event back in 2009, will meet a refreshed Pliskova, who benefited from Johanna Konta's withdrawal due to a spine injury suffered in her quarter-final win over Angelique Kerber.

And any hope of a British contingent in Saturday's final was ended by Wozniacki, who survived a second-set dip to advance 6-2 3-6 7-5 and defeat wildcard Watson, who surprised many with her run to the last four that included a win over Dominika Cibulkova.

It was a less than auspicious opening for the home favourite, as a pair of poor volley errors allowed Wozniacki to break for a 2-1 lead in the first, and another errant volley made it 4-1.

A favourable net cord helped Watson claw one of those breaks back, but she gave the initiative away again by dropping serve immediately and a long forehand handed Wozniacki the first set.

It looked as though the contest could be ended swiftly as Wozniacki broke to go 2-1 up in the second, but Watson suddenly found some rhythm, hitting straight back to love before a morale-boosting fifth game saw her rescue four break points.

The partisan crowd got further behind her as she reeled off her third and fourth successive games, serving out to force a decider as Wozniacki went long.

The pair traded breaks early in the third, but it remained tight until Watson was serving to force a tie-break, Wozniacki capitalising on her second match point as her opponent netted a forehand.