Top seed Wozniacki has fond memories of the tournament in Tokyo having won in 2010 and reached the final 12 months ago when she was beaten by Ivanovic.
A repeat of last season’s final was on the cards, but second seed Ivanovic failed to hit top form in a disappointing 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 loss to Cibulkova. It could have gone both ways, but I won the most important points.
Belinda Bencic, one of the leading WTA Rising Stars, beat Caroline Wozniacki for the fourth time in a row in the Toray Pan Pacific Open semifinals on Saturday afternoon, and there’s something very big at stake in the final – if she wins the title, she’ll break the Top 10 for the first time.
In other quarter-final action, seventh-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland defeated Czech Karolina Pliskova (4) 7-5 6-2.
“I have already reached a better result than I could ever have imagined, so I can enjoy tomorrow”, said Bencic, who also won the Rogers Cup in Toronto after beating Serena Williams in the semifinals. “I am happy about that”, Wozniacki said. She has won three of four career matches with the former No. 1.
“It was a good game, we played very well and that motivates us to continue to strive to be among the best eight couples”.
Ivanovic said she felt confident going into the match, but Cibulkova appeared prepared to fight back, preventing her opponent from taking control.
The 2011 Tokyo champion said she expects a challenging final against the eighth-seeded Swiss.
“I think this is a girl who can really do everything on (the) court”, Radwanska said, adding Bencic was “playing like an experienced player” despite her age.
The Swiss was just too good on the day with her aggressive play plus being very consistent in her all round game. “I’ll just try to do revenge and we’ll see how it goes tomorrow”.