Pennetta's Day On Clay, Wozniacki Holds On
Published July 05, 2011 12:00
BASTAD, Sweden - World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki was tested but made a winning start to her Collector Swedish Open campaign on Tuesday evening, beating Alizé Cornet in a tough two-setter under the lights, 64 64.
Both Wozniacki and Cornet struggled on their serve, with 16 of the 20 games in the match being breaks of serve. But Wozniacki was just a bit better on her delivery, holding once in the first set and twice in the second set for the win.
Next for Wozniacki will be Sofia Arvidsson, who had a come-from-ahead victory over Andrea Hlavackova earlier on in the day, 61 57 64. Arvidsson had a comfortable 61 52 lead but couldn't close Hlavackova out in the second set, eventually coming from a break down in the third to finish the match off.
Wozniacki leads Arvidsson in their head-to-head series, 4-1. Arvidsson won their first meeting when Wozniacki was 15 years old; Wozniacki has won four in a row since. Wozniacki will be going for her 50th win of the year.
Flavia Pennetta, the No.2 seed this week, was cruising early on but held off a late surge to advance, beating Australian qualifier Olivia Rogowska, 62 75. Pennetta originally led 62 52 before Rogowska caught up to 5-all; Pennetta won eight of the last nine points to end it, hitting three aces in the last four points.
After missing Marbella and Stuttgart with a shoulder injury, Pennetta never quite found her feet during the clay court season, falling first round at Madrid, Rome and the French Open. Against Rogowska she got on the board finally.
"It was easy until 62 52, but I started getting a little bit nervous - it's normal, it was my first win on clay this year," Pennetta said. "I'm proud of this match."
Pennetta has played very well at Bastad in the two years since the event started in 2009 - she has been a semifinalist both of the last two years in singles and also won both doubles titles with Gisela Dulko. But Dulko isn't here this year.
"My partner is in Argentina. She got injured in Roland Garros and now she's getting married next week, so that's why! I'd like to be in the final in singles this time, I'd like to win the tournament. But you have to go step by step and match by match. You have to respect your opponent and just try to play your best."
No.5 seed Vera Dushevina and No.8 seed Polona Hercog also won through, but No.6 seed and new Wimbledon mixed doubles champion Iveta Benesova wasn't so lucky, falling to María José Martínez Sánchez, 62 60.