Caroline Aims For Three Straight in Copenhagen
Published April 08, 2012 11:10
The players who have been more dominant than any other in Copenhagen and Barcelona, respectively, are back to defend their titles this week.
The rise of Caroline Wozniacki to superstardom was a key ingredient in Copenhagen, about 90 miles from where she grew up, getting a WTA event. And she has somehow exceeded the high expectations of the Danish crowd in winning the e-Boks Open in both of its previous stagings - in 2010 and 2011.
"This tournament means a lot to me," said Wozniacki, who did not lose a set en route to her 2011 triumph. "It's great to play in front of my Danish fans who have been following me my whole career. It's just amazing to be able to play in front of the home crowd."
On top of her obvious comfort in playing on the indoor hardcourts of the Farum Arena, the top-seeded Wozniacki is coming off an impressive semifinal showing in Miami in which she bested Serena Williams for the first time. Among those trying to stop Wozniacki from a Copenhagen three-peat are second-seeded Angelique Kerber and third-seeded Jelena Jankovic.
Kerber won her first career title earlier this year indoors in Paris and also has three semifinal showings during a season that saw her crack the Top 15 for the first time last month. Also, she played Wozniacki closer than anyone else at this event last year. Jankovic has fallen on hard times of late, but has won two titles indoors and owns four career wins over Wozniacki.
Meanwhile, the first European red clay event in the build-up to the French Open will be taking place in Barcelona at Vall d'Hebrón - the site of the 1992 Summer Olympic tennis finals.
"This is a great tournament. I feel like it's my tournament!" Vinci said after winning last year. "I'm in love with Barcelona. I always play great in this beautiful city and I'd like to thank everyone here for making this tournament so great."
Schiavone is the only player to beat Vinci in Barcelona, having done so in the 2010 final for one of her three career titles on red clay. Having risen to a career-high No.15 last month, both of Goerges' career titles have come on red clay. Cibulkova is coming off her best result of the year - a fourth round showing in Miami in which she had World No.1 Victoria Azarenka on the brink of defeat.
Sara Errani and Vinci, Barcelona titlists in 2010, are the top seeds in doubles.