Wozniacki Wins Eastbourne
Published June 20, 2009 12:00
EASTBOURNE, UK - Caroline Wozniacki stopped the giant-killing run of Virginie Razzano in the final of the AEGON International in Eastbourne on Saturday, a tight straight set win giving her the key Wimbledon tune-up title.
Wozniacki, the No.6 seed, had never lost a set to the unseeded Razzano in their two previous encounters, but this was the closest by far. She barely won out the first set, nearly blowing a 5-2 lead and clinching it on her fifth set point in the tie-break; and she had a set point against her at 4-5 in the second set. The Dane would eventually win, 76(5) 75. Watch highlights from this match
"I felt the ball really well today," Wozniacki said. "The sets were very tight. I wish I could have closed the first set out a little bit earlier, having had 6-1 in the tie-break; and I was also up a break in the second set. But it doesn't matter how I win - I won, and that's the main thing!" Watch Wozniacki's post-match interview
The first grass court title is Wozniacki's second title of the year, following her first clay court triumph at Ponte Vedra Beach. She now has five singles titles in her Sony Ericsson WTA Tour career, following hardcourt triumphs at Stockholm, New Haven and Tokyo last season. Watch Wozniacki's tips for playing on grass
"I'm really pleased to have won my fifth Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title. It's my first title on grass so that means a lot to me," Wozniacki said. "I've beaten some great players, some great grass court players. This tournament had a very strong field. I just want to celebrate - I'm not thinking about Wimbledon yet!" Watch Wozniacki's shot of the day
Razzano had herself a career week, upsetting top seed Elena Dementieva and No.8 seed and defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska en route to her second Premier final of the year, having finished runner-up in Dubai as well. Her win over the No.4-ranked Dementieva was her third career win over a Top 5 player, her first two coming in Dubai - Dinara Safina and Vera Zvonareva.
"It was a great, tough final. It was not easy for me to lose in two sets, but they were close. I played a very good final against Caroline," Razzano said. "I'm happy with my matches against Dementieva and Radwanska though." Watch Razzano's shot of the day
The underdogs really did come through in Eastbourne, with Wozniacki and Radwanska the only two seeds to reach their projected quarterfinal berths, and Wozniacki the only one standing as of the semifinals and beyond. Svetlana Kuznetsova, the No.2 seed and new French Open champion, was ousted in the first round by an inspired Aleksandra Wozniak, who would eventually reach the semifinals; No.3 and No.4 seeds Jelena Jankovic and Vera Zvonareva also fell first round, to Anna Chakvetadze and Amélie Mauresmo, respectively.
The doubles final saw the unseeded pair of Akgul Amanmuradova and Ai Sugiyama take out No.4 seeds Samantha Stosur and Rennae Stubbs in straight sets, 64 63. Amanmuradova and Sugiyama won their first title together; Amanmuradova came away with her first Tour title of any kind, while Sugiyama now has 38 Tour doubles title to her name.
"I couldn't believe before the tournament I could actually win it," Amanmuradova said. "This is the first time I've played with Ai and it's been an incredible week for me. Ai came and asked me if I can come and play with her and I was surprised because she is a big star, so of course I said yes. I learn a lot from her attitude on court. She always fights. If she makes a mistake she's always focusing on the next point and also has an unbelievable return of serve. She's so quick, too. The first time we practiced I couldn't believe how fast she is. She's a great player and unbelievably experienced. Hopefully we will play together again."
"It's the first time I've played with Akgul. We actually decided to play together about 10 or 15 minutes before the doubles sign-in closed," Sugiyama said. "Each match we played better and better. Akgul was playing really great in the final and it was the first final she's played! She dealt with the pressure really well. We enjoyed playing together the whole week, so hopefully we will play some more tournaments together in the future."