The ASB Tennis Classic was shorn of the last of its big-name contenders on Thursday when former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki wasted a match-winning position and lost 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the quarterfinals to Germany's Julia Goerges.
The tournament had boasted the strongest field in its history when four former No. 1s — Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic and Serena and Venus Williams — made it their principal lead-up to the first Grand Slam tournament of the season, the Australian Open.
But Ivanovic withdrew before the tournament began and subsequently retired, and the Williams sisters both bowed out Wednesday: an error-strewn Serena beaten by American compatriot Madison Brengle and Venus withdrawing with an arm injury.
Wozniacki, who was the highest-ranked player remaining, led 6-1, 3-0 before Goerges began to found the range on her big first serve and swung the match in her favor; she served out the second and third sets with aces.
"I just tried to hang in there somehow," Goerges said. "I just missed everything I could miss and she didn't miss one ball."
Goerges will play eighth-seeded Ana Konjuh in Friday's semifinal after Konjuh's quarterfinal opponent, Naomi Osaka of Japan, retired at 3-0 in the first set.
American Lauren Davis beat fourth-seeded Barbora Strycova 6-1, 7-6 (4) and will play seventh-seeded Jelena Ostapenko who beat Brengle 7-5, 6-3