Caroline & Svetlana Into Dubai Final
Published Feburary 19, 2011 12:00
DUBAI, UAE - Caroline Wozniacki didn't come to Dubai just to take the No.1 ranking back, she came to win. The day after she won her quarterfinal match to secure a return to the top spot, Wozniacki battled past Jelena Jankovic to move into her first final of the year, where she will face Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Wozniacki, the No.1 seed at the Premier-level tournament, had never beaten Jankovic before, going 0-4 in their four previous meetings. And early on it looked like things were headed in the same direction as the No.6-seeded Jankovic led 5-3 with triple set point at 40-0, eventually holding a fourth set point as well.
"I had those set points and I kind of rushed a little bit. She was very solid and ran a lot of balls down," Jankovic said afterwards. "It was tough. I had a lot of opportunities in that first set and I let them slip away. She was just too solid."
Wozniacki ended up taking that set and carrying the momentum into the next, scoring her first win over Jankovic in their five career meetings, 75 63.
"I actually had a good feeling going into the match, although I started off a little bit slowly today," Wozniacki commented. "She started off well and I made a few mistakes early on, but then I felt I started hitting the ball really well."
This is Wozniacki's first final of the year. She lost in the second round of Sydney and in the semifinals of the Australian Open. "After my loss at the Australian Open, it's great to have this tournament and see me smiling again," the 20-year-old Wozniacki said. "I went back on court the day after that loss and worked hard, and I knew if I kept working hard my time would come."
Jankovic had endured a pair of marathons the two nights before, rallying from 3-5 in the third to beat No.12 seed Kaia Kanepi, 26 63 75, then coming from 1-4 in the third to beat No.4 seed Samantha Stosur in the quarters, 63 57 76(4).
"The longer the points went, Caroline had the advantage today because she was more fresh," Jankovic said. "The last couple of days took a lot out of me and maybe it showed today. But I still fought very hard and really gave it my best. Unfortunately I couldn't take my chances in the first set, then she came back from the defense and made some good points. So all the credit to her."
At night, No.16 seed Kuznetsova rallied from a break down in both sets to beat No.11 seed Flavia Pennetta, 64 64. She improved to 5-0 against the Italian.
"Out of all the surfaces I've played Flavia on, this is the one that suits her a lot because it's fast and she can use my power," Kuznetsova said. "The match was very equal but I think in the key points I was playing a little bit better than her. I think we had some good rallies today. I'm happy I managed to win."