Wozniak, Wozniacki Reach Final in Florida
Published April 11, 2009 12:00
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL, USA - She won her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title last summer on the hardcourts of California, and now she has a chance to do it again on the green clay of Florida. Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak upset top seed Nadia Petrova in the semifinals of The MPS Group Championships and will now take on second seed Caroline Wozniacki for the International-level title.
Wozniak, seeded No.5 this week, had saved match point against Tamira Paszek in the quarterfinals, thus she came into the semifinals with nothing to lose; and when she began against Petrova it certainly showed, as she raced out to a 64 41 lead. The Russian, ranked No.10 in the world, battled back to take the second set but Wozniak went on another tear in the third set to collect her first Top 10 win in just over two hours, 64 46 62.
Québec native Wozniak won her first Tour title in Stanford last summer, the first Canadian to claim a singles title on the Tour in over 20 years. She has been creeping up the rankings ever since and is currently at No.35, having peaked at No.29 for the two weeks of the Premier-level Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.
Near-namesake Wozniacki nearly joined Petrova on the sidelines, saving four match points to beat an unseeded Elena Vesnina in her semifinal match, 26 63 76(4). Vesnina, who had upset No.3 seed Dominika Cibulkova the day before, held two match points while serving for the match at 5-3 in the third set, then held two more leading 6-5, on the No.2 seed's serve. But there wouldn't be another upset as Wozniacki edged her in a nail-biter in two hours and 43 minutes.
Denmark's Wozniacki will be going for her fourth singles title on the Tour, having won her first three last year, at Stockholm, New Haven and Tokyo. She won her only previous meeting with Wozniak handily, prevailing in the opening round of Wimbledon last year, 61 61, although that was on a far quicker surface: grass.