Kerber Lifts Her Game, Wins Copenhagen
Published April 15, 2012 12:00
COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Angelique Kerber spoiled Caroline Wozniacki's perfect record at the e-Boks Open on Sunday afternoon, beating the World No.6 in straight sets in the final of the International-level tournament, 64 64.
The No.2-seeded Kerber barely made it through her first few matches of the week, rallying from a set down to win her first and second rounds then coming back from 5-2 down in the third set, and saving two match points along the way, to edge No.6-seeded countrywoman Mona Barthel in the quarterfinals.
But after a 62 61 semifinal win over No.3 seed Jelena Jankovic, Kerber went into the final with strong momentum, and though she fell behind in both sets to the No.1-seeded Wozniacki, 4-3 in the first set and 4-1 in the second set, she lifted her game every time, including a five game streak to close it out.
"It was amazing to play in front of this crowd, even though most of them supported Caroline," Kerber said. "It was a great atmosphere and it was good fun to play. And I felt like I had nothing to lose. If I lost the match, it's okay against her. It made me take more chances and I'm glad it worked out."
Kerber not only won her second WTA title, after her Premier triumph at Paris [Indoors] in February, but she is also the first player to save match point en route to a WTA title since Chanelle Scheepers last September in Guangzhou. She has also won four of her last five matches against Top 10 players.
"It has been a fantastic week for me here," Kerber said. "I love playing here and today I played a really good match against Caroline. I'm happy I was able to raise my level for the last few matches here and I've gained a lot of confidence.
"I'm very motivated to continue working hard. This just adds to it."
Kerber had never beaten a Top 10 player before February, but since then she has had wins over Maria Sharapova and Marion Bartoli in Paris, Li Na in Indian Wells and now Wozniacki in Copenhagen (her only loss came to the World No.1, Victoria Azarenka, in the semifinals of Indian Wells).
Wozniacki had been 14-0 at the e-Boks Open going into the final, winning the title in its first two years in 2010 and 2011. The Dane, who has spent 67 weeks at No.1, still has a sparkling 18-11 career record in WTA finals.
"You always want to win - yes it's disappointing to lose, but it's not a disaster," Wozniacki said. "You lose matches sometimes, and today was one of those times. There's a new match and new tournament coming, so you go on."
The doubles final saw No.3 seeds Kimiko Date-Krumm and Rika Fujiwara defeat unseeded pair Sofia Arvidsson and Kaia Kanepi, 62 46 105. The 41-year-old Date-Krumm won her third WTA doubles title, while it was a bigger occasion for the 30-year-old Fujiwara - it was her first WTA title of any kind.