Wozniacki Crushes Kuznetsova At Dubai Open




Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki

Newly crowned number one, Caroline Wozniacki, opened her 2011 kitty with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Svetlana Kuznetsova at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Sunday.

The Dane was in complete charge of the game from the word go. She was holding serve easily enough and looked to establish her characteristic game of running down every ball. Her opponent, though, seemed completely out of sorts, as she tried in vain to find her form which had helped her power past higher-ranked opponents such as Francesca Schiavone, Agnieszka Radwanska and Flavia Pennetta.

Wozniacki’s intent was clear from the beginning, making Kuznetsova run around the court, as the Russian’s backhands kept going beyond the baseline or into the tramlines. When 25-year-old Kuznetsova lost her first service game, it was primarily courtesy of a double fault that left her facing two breakpoints.

She broke back immediately, but appeared to go to pieces with her forehand running wild and wide as Wozniacki strengthened her advantage. A long forehand then handed Wozniacki the two-game buffer once again and, from thereon in, it was one-way traffic.

The Australian Open semi-finalist manoeuvred Kuznetsova sufficiently around the court to receive an airy, lofted ball that got met by a dry, backhand volley for 4-1 and a woeful, forehand drop shot by the latter that sailed into Wozniacki’s right-sided tramline resulted in an even wider gulf.

At 5-1, Wozniacki merely had to serve it out to clinch the opener and another heavily-hit shot off Kuznetsova’s forehand wing did the job.

In the second set it appeared neither player could hold serve, with the first three games all witnessing breaks, but again it was unforced errors from Kuznetsova that saw Wozniacki take a 3-1 lead.

Three service holds in the row thereafter saw the scoreline nudge along to 4-2 at which point Wozniacki broke to love to be handed the chance to serve for the championship.

She fluffed two opportunities to seal the title with the ball in hand and the frustration may have got the better of her as a long forehand gave Kuznetsova a glimmer of hope at 5-3.

Any lingering aspirations were quickly snuffed out when on Wozniacki’s third championship point, a Kuznetsova backhand sailed out resulting in the number one seed prevailing, without having lost a single set throughout the whole tournament.

The Russian looked like a different player altogether in the finals, short on confidence and lackluster in her performance. It was quite a contrast from her sometimes unplayable game that had been showcased throughout the tournament.

The Monaco-based right-hander improved as the set neared its climax, but it was irrelevant as Wozniacki closed it out to claim her first title since the Beijing Open in October.

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Nupoor Bansal

Author:

Hey, I'm Nupoor Bansal, 20, currently pursuing Journalism from DU. I have always been immensely interested in both playing and watching sports. Like most other cricket fanatics Sachin Tendulkar is THE God for me. Badminton, Tennis and Football are the other sports that interest me.

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