World No.1 Cruises In Opener, Razzano Next
Published June 21, 2011 12:00
LONDON, England - Caroline Wozniacki made a strong start in her quest for her first Grand Slam title on Tuesday afternoon, fending off the two-handed strokes of Spain's Arantxa Parra Santonja for a 59-minute, 62 61 victory.
The last time Wozniacki took the lawns of the All-England Club, a fourth round match against Petra Kvitova a year ago, she suffered her worst loss of 2010, a 46-minute, 62 60 rout. But the No.1-ranked, No.1-seeded Dane had almost exactly the reverse result against Parra Santonja, losing serve in the opening game but kicking into gear quickly and rolling to victory. She had four errors.
"The wind was blowing everywhere and I was throwing the ball up quite a few times, but I thought I actually served pretty well," Wozniacki said. "There was also one point where I hit the ball and it almost didn't go over, and then I hit the next one and it just flew. I just tried to adapt as well as I could today."
Wozniacki warmed up for Wimbledon with a title run at her home tournament in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was her fifth WTA title of the year (no one else has that many) - her 46 match wins are also the most on the WTA this year.
Parra Santonja fell to 0-10 lifetime against Top 10 players. She is the sixth-highest ranked player to hit with two hands off both sides - the Top 5 are all in the world's Top 50 (No.9 Marion Bartoli, No.20 Peng Shuai, No.41 Lucie Hradecka, No.42 Ayumi Morita and No.46 Monica Niculescu).
Wozniacki could have a tough one next. Virginie Razzano, currently No.96 in the world, hit 27 winners to just 15 errors to pull off a minor upset over No.60-ranked Sania Mirza, 76(4) 26 63, to set up a second round clash with Wozniacki. Razzano, a former Top 20 player with a slew of Top 10 wins to her name, got her first win since her coach and fiancé passed away in May.
"It's not easy for me. Every day I have ups and downs in my life," Razzano said. "I started slowly today, just like I did in Birmingham. But I knew I had to stay aggressive. I told myself, 'You are here to play for you and for Stéphane. You have to play your tennis.' I came back and I was able to win the first set.
"It was good to win today. I play because it's my job and my passion, and I must continue. I try to think only positively and do what I need to win."
Wozniacki leads Razzano in their head-to-head series, 4-0. All of their meetings came in the 2009 season and Wozniacki won them all in straight sets. Their closest match came in their only grass court meeting, where Wozniacki won in the final of Eastbourne right before Wimbledon, 76(5) 75.
"It was a fun match because on match point, I remember, she didn't see the ball was out," Razzano said. "She hit a serve and the umpire told her no, we had to play another one, because it was a fault. It was a good memory. I lost, but it was a very good match. She's a very good player. That's why she's No.1."