Begu Beats Wozniacki, First Top 10 Victory
Published August 28, 2012 12:00
NEW YORK, NY, USA - Caroline Wozniacki came into the US Open as somewhat of an unknown quantity this year - not only had she not won a WTA title for more than a year, but she also had some injury concerns, having to retire in the semifinals of last week's tournament in New Haven due to a right knee injury. And unfortunately it all may have piled on at the wrong time, as she was ousted in the first round of her favorite Grand Slam on Tuesday night.
An uncharacteristically erratic Wozniacki just couldn't find her range throughout the match, hitting 22 unforced errors to just four winners and going out quietly in an hour and 22 minutes to Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu, 62 62.
"You always want to go onto the court and do your best no matter what's happening out there," Wozniacki said. "I tried but I didn't succeed in playing well. I made too many errors. I definitely felt I couldn't hit through her today like I wanted to. When she had the opportunity she went in and finished off the point.
"I tried to win out there - I tried my best. It just wasn't enough today."
Wozniacki was asked about the right knee injury that forced her to stop after losing the first set to Maria Kirilenko in the New Haven semifinals.
"I've had it examined and I've had treatment on it," Wozniacki commented. "I think it's a temporary issue. Hopefully it will get better quickly. Injuries can be frustrating, but it happens to everyone. It's just about moving on from it."
Wozniacki has always done well at the US Open - in 2009 she reached her first Grand Slam final here and she backed it up with back-to-back semifinals in 2010 and 2011. This year she was clearly not at her best level - she spoke afterwards about going forward, not just the rest of 2012 but beyond as well.
"The Grand Slams this year haven't been great for me," the former World No.1 said. "After the year's finished I'll evaluate what was good and what wasn't so good, and we'll work from there. But I have plenty of years left in me. And this year isn't even over yet. Hopefully I can turn it around and play even better."
Meanwhile, Begu finally broke through against the WTA's upper echelon - the WTA Newcomer Of The Year for 2011 got her first Top 10 win, having gone 0-5 against them previously (three losses to Victoria Azarenka, one loss to Maria Sharapova and one loss to Sara Errani). She was thrilled with the win.
"It's the first Top 10 player I've beaten and I'm really happy," Begu said. "I had nothing to lose tonight. I had the right tactics from the beginning and played the same from beginning to end - I served really well, too, which was the key.
"I still don't really know what happened tonight - right now I'm just going to enjoy the moment, and for sure tomorrow I'll realize what I've done."