World No.1 Too Solid, Sharapova Battles
Published June 24, 2011 12:00
LONDON, England - Facing someone with 11 career Top 10 wins, including two on grass, Caroline Wozniacki needed to have her guard up - and she certainly did have them up. The No.1-ranked, No.1-seeded Dane played near-flawless tennis, literally, to beat always dangerous Virginie Razzano, 61 63.
Wozniacki, a former junior champion at Wimbledon, gave up just one unforced error to go along with 13 winners during the 66-minute win over Razzano, who wasn't playing badly - she had more winners than mistakes - but the Dane was too solid on the day and improved to 5-0 lifetime against the Frenchwoman.
"I've been playing very well my two matches here and hopefully I can keep it up," Wozniacki said. "I'm serving well, I'm moving well, and I'm moving the ball around well. I won the junior title here in 2006 and Eastbourne two years ago. Hardcourt is my best surface, but grass is good for me as well."
Razzano has had a particularly tough last few months - her coach and fiancé passed away in May. "We just want to support each other off the court, if there's anything we can help with," Wozniacki said. "On the court it's a game and you want to win, but if she needs help, we're always here. We're all human."
She was also asked what it would mean to her to win Wimbledon, in the seniors. "I think this is actually the first tournament I watched on TV," the 20-year-old said. "I watched Martina Hingis. She was my idol growing up. I watched so many of her matches. It's definitely a special tournament for me and a special two weeks. I enjoy playing here and being here at Wimbledon."
Next up for Wozniacki is No.27 seed Jarmila Gajdosova. Wozniacki won both of their previous meetings, but Gajdosova was never ranked higher than No.90 in those - she is now firmly established in the world's Top 30.
"She has a good serve, a good forehand and plays aggressively," Wozniacki said. "She also likes the grass, so it's not going to be easy. But we'll see."
"I had Venus in the fourth round last year and I was close to that, so why not?" Gajdosova said when asked if she was ready to play the No.1 in the world. "Caroline's No.1 and is playing well, winning a lot of tournaments. I'm not sure if she likes playing on grass or not, but I'll go on the court and try to concentrate on every single ball. It's grass, so anything can happen."
Wozniacki's match was postponed from Thursday. Other players playing catch-up were No.5 seed Maria Sharapova, who overcame a 4-1 first set hole to beat British wildcard Laura Robson, 76(4) 63; No.9 seed Marion Bartoli, who rallied to beat Lourdes Domínguez Lino, 46 75 62; and No.20 seed Peng Shuai, who came from 4-2 down in the third to beat Elena Baltacha, 46 62 75.
"I started off really slowly and she started off really well," Sharapova said. "I found myself on the defense and she was serving really well, so I didn't have too many looks on second serve. But then I just got my rhythm a little bit.
"I don't think she had anything to lose in this match. I think that brings out the best in someone, when they go out and play free and just go for the lines."
Although she showed some very encouraging signs of future success, Robson was understandably disappointed with losing. "I thought I could have played better at some points, especially the big points. That's where her experience definitely showed. Every time, she stepped up. It's a good learning experience for me. It's good to know, though, that I can play sort of as well as the top girls."
"I think she has great potential," Sharapova said of Robson. "There will be many tournaments, many losses and many wins, and it's important for her to learn from the situations. She'll get that experience and she'll be a better player."