Wozniacki Beats Peer, Secures No.1 Return
Published February 18, 2011 12:00
DUBAI, UAE - For some people, second place just isn't enough. Caroline Wozniacki seems to be one of those people - the Dane secured herself a return to the No.1 ranking at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Friday, beating Shahar Peer to move into the semifinals of the Premier event.
Wozniacki, the No.1 seed here, avenged a defeat to the Israeli from this very tournament last year with a routine 62 64 win. Peer had her chances - she actually had more break points during the match than Wozniacki (10 to 8) but the Dane hung on at those moments more tightly (Wozniacki was 6/8 on break points, Peer was 3/10). Wozniacki improved to 5-1 lifetime against Peer.
Next Monday, Wozniacki will begin her 19th career week as the No.1 player in the world, her first 18 coming between October 11, 2010 and February 13, 2011. On February 14, Kim Clijsters took No.1; it was short-lived, for now.
"I was very focused going into the match. I knew what I had to do," Wozniacki said. "Of course, it's nice to be back at No.1. It's a good feeling. Yeah, I gave Kim one week. Hopefully now I'll have it for a few more weeks.
"One of my best friends is here visiting with her family, so we're definitely going to have a nice dinner to celebrate, and then I'll prepare for tomorrow."
Next up for Wozniacki will be No.6 seed Jelena Jankovic, who followed up her marathon third round win over No.12 seed Kaia Kanepi with another marathon three set win over No.4 seed Samantha Stosur, coming back from 1-4 in the third set to prevail in a two-hour, 50-minute nail-biter, 63 57 76(4).
"I was tired and felt I had no gas in the tank, but with a positive attitude I just kept going," Jankovic said. "I was able to break her - it's so tough to break her - and came out as the winner. I'm really happy with my performance overall. There were a lot of ups and downs, but getting the win is the most important."
"I used to be there. I used to be the one playing deep in tournaments and playing for the trophies. I've been No.1, I've been in the Top 10 for many years. But I was really missing those kinds of matches," Jankovic said. "But I think everything is possible if you believe in yourself and keep working. If you're healthy, things can come in a good way and you can come out as a winner."
Rounding out the final four will be No.11 seed Flavia Pennetta and No.16 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova. Kuznetsova won first, saving two set points in the first set tie-break and edging No.8 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, 76(7) 63; Pennetta followed with a 49-minute, 62 60 rout of No.15 seed Alisa Kleybanova.