Chakvetadze Sets Up Wozniacki Clash

Anna Chakvetadze will be Caroline Wozniacki's first opponent in her quest to regain No.1.

Published February 15, 2011 12:00

Chakvetadze Sets Up Wozniacki Clash
Anna Chakvetadze

DUBAI, UAE - Caroline Wozniacki's path to regain No.1 will open with Anna Chakvetadze, after the Russian beat Daniela Hantuchova in the first round.

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In a battle between former Top 5 players, Chakvetadze was sharper on the day, completing a 61 63 win over Hantuchova, although the match was far tougher than the scoreline indicates - it lasted an hour and 31 minutes. Chakvetadze has now beaten Hantuchova four times in a row and was happy with her play.

"I guess Daniela just came from Asia and didn't have enough time to adapt to the jet lag and everything," Chakvetadze said. "I was trying my best today. I actually thought I wouldn't have a lot of chances to win, but it's a very big tournament and I really wanted to, so I was trying my best and it was working."

"I'm disappointed about today, but I'm still so happy about last week," said Hantuchova, who defeated Vera Zvonareva en route to the title in Pattaya. "Probably the positive emotions are much more important right now. I just need to rest a few days and try to get my energy back, and then get ready for Doha."

Wozniacki, ranked No.2 in the world and needing to reach the semifinals here to regain No.1, received a first round bye and will open her tournament against Chakvetadze. The Russian, who turns 24 next month, has been as high as No.5 in the world and although she is 0-3 against Wozniacki, she has pushed the Dane to three sets every time, two of them going to 6-4 in the third.

After reaching the Top 5 in 2007 Chakvetadze had a rough few years, but in the second half of 2010 showed glimpses of her former self, particularly during a summer stretch in which she won 10 straight matches on hardcourts (ending up losing to Wozniacki in three sets in the Copenhagen semifinals).

"I'm pretty confident," Chakvetadze said of her form. "I think I'm going in the right direction. At least now I feel I'm playing tennis. A year ago it was something different. I don't want to expect too much, I just want to enjoy practicing, then enjoy the matches and try to win. I don't want to put pressure on myself.

"It's the beginning of a new career for me. I don't think about three years ago. Of course it gave me some experience, but it will also put more pressure on me."

Wozniacki leads Chakvetadze in their head-to-head series, 3-0.

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