World No.1 Wozniacki Conquers Indian Wells
Published March 20, 2011 12:00
INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - Caroline Wozniacki completed a dream week in Indian Wells on Sunday afternoon, following up Friday night's 61 62 semifinal win over Maria Sharapova with a 61 26 63 victory over Marion Bartoli to win her 14th and equal-biggest career WTA title at the BNP Paribas Open.
Wozniacki put on a masterclass of consistency against former No.1 Sharapova two nights before to reach her second final in a row at the $4.5-million stop. In front of a packed crowd Sunday, she regrouped after some rough patches, including losing a lopsided second set and allowing a 4-1 third set lead to close to 4-3, but she managed to close out the No.15-seeded Bartoli anyway.
With Bartoli serving 3-5 in the decider, Wozniacki missed her first match point by sailing a crosscourt backhand long; on her second match point, Bartoli returned the favor with her own long backhand as Wozniacki rejoiced.
"In the third set I just kept my head cool. We had a lot of long rallies but I came up with the wins," Wozniacki said. "I thought if she kept playing like she was, then it would just be too good. But I wasn't going to give her anything.
"I just love playing matches. I like winning. I like holding the trophy."
Wozniacki now has two WTA titles this year, having won Dubai. Her 14 career titles now include nine Premiers, two of those Premier Mandatories (Beijing last fall and now Indian Wells). The 20-year-old is now 14-9 in WTA finals.
"This is such an amazing event and everyone loves playing here. I'm already looking forward to playing here next year," Wozniacki said. "Marion, amazing tournament this week. I'm sorry I had to beat you in the finals. I'm sure we'll have a lot of good matches in the future. This has been really special for me. Thanks to everyone for supporting me, especially the crowd, I appreciate it so much."
Bartoli was playing her 12th WTA final and is now 5-7 in those. It was her second-biggest career final, after Wimbledon four years ago.
"I'm sorry, I'm a little bit in tears right now, but it's more tears of tiredness - Caroline, you made me really tired today!" Bartoli said in the on-court ceremony. "Caroline, you should be very proud of yourself and I wish you all the best in the future. I know your goal is to get a Grand Slam. I'm sure you'll get it very soon.
"I'd also like to thank my dad. He was there when I hit my first ball at five and a half years old, and I hope he'll be there to see me hit my last one."
Bartoli is projected to make her return to the Top 10 after her results in the desert, her first time in the elite since July 6, 2008. Her career-high is No.9.
"After the first set today I started to play a lot better. Honestly, from the second set towards the end, it was one of the best matcehes I've ever played," Bartoli said. "Sometimes you come up a bit short. It was a really great fight. But if I keep working like that, I'm sure I'll improve and be an even better player.
"It has been a while since I was in the Top 10. I really want to be at the Championships at the end of the year. That's one of my main goals."