Wozniacki will meet Dementieva in the Tokyo final.

Caroline Wozniacki took a step closer to usurping Serena Williams as the new world number one after reaching the final of the Pan Pacific Open.

The Dane could take the top ranking if she lifts the trophy and reaches the last four in next week’s China Open. The top seed had to dig deep in Tokyo, though, holding off Belarussian Victoria Azarenka 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 6-4. Wozniacki will face Elena Dementieva in Sunday’s final after the Russian beat Italian Francesca Schiavone 6-4 7-5.

American Williams was forced out of the events in Tokyo and China after failing to recover fully from a foot injury. And that has created a window of opportunity for Wozniacki, who endured a hard-fought battle to overcome eighth seed Azarenka,

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