Caroline Wozniacki.jpg
Photograph: EPA/JEROME FAVRE

Caroline Wozniacki struggled over three sets with Kristina Mladenovic before finishing off a 6-1, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2 victory at the Hong Kong Open to earn the 25th title of her career on Sunday.

Denmark's former world number one has now won two titles in four Asian events after taking out the Tokyo trophy last month.

Wozniacki denied doubles ace Mladenovic, a reigning Roland Garros champion and finalist at two other grand slams, a first career singles title in a battle lasting for 2 hours, 40 minutes.

Wozniacki is back to 22nd after injuries earlier in the year which kept her off the circuit for two months. The title win came a day after she knocked out defending champion Jelena Jankovic in the semi-finals at Victoria Park.

The winner finished the week with the loss of just one set, which came in the middle of the final.

But Wozniacki re-established her first-set dominance in the deciding set, earning the defining break for 5-2. She lost serve trying to close out the contest, but broke her French opponent in the next game, going through on a second match point.

"I think I can be very proud of myself and the way I managed to fight back (during the season)," the 26-year-old Wozniacki said. "Before the US Open (she played a semi-final), I was almost 80 in the rankings, now I'm back near the top 20. It's a big step.

"I've been playing well and getting a lot of wins in. That's something I'm very proud of, and something I haven't been through before.

"Proving to myself that I'm still one of the top players and that I'm tough to beat is definitely something that I could call a success."

Mladenovic has come up unlucky in two finals this season, losing at s’Hertogenbosch to Coco Vandeweghe.

Wozniacki now stands 3-0 over the Frenchwoman, whom she defeated twice in 2014.

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