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Caroline Wozniacki has been knocked out of the WTA Eastbourne tournament at the penultimate hurdle by American Jamie Hampton.
It was widely expected that the Dane would prove a cut above her younger rival in bidding to capture the Eastbourne title again, having triumphed in 2009, and after taking the first set on a tie-break she looked on course for Saturday’s final.
However, Hampton is a real battler, as she showed when coming from behind twice to beat Lucie Safaraova in the previous round, and once again she called on her undoubted reserves to take the second set 7-5 before going on to belie her 41st-place ranking with an emphatic 6-3 success in the deciding third set.
The victory was all the sweeter as it came against a player who prides herself on her grass-court prowess.
Wozniacki won junior Wimbledon in 2006 and now Hampton, who had to qualify for the event, will face either Yanina Wickmayer or Elena Vesnina in the Eastbourne final.
Elswhere, the Hertogenbosch semi-finals saw Simona Halep of Romania beat Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3 6-2 while Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium beat Garbine Muguruza Blanco of Spain 6-3 6-1.