The claycourt season kicked off last week with two of the WTA tours hottest players in Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka collecting titles at Charleston and Marbella (Spain) respectively.
Say what you want about the thoughtful but power-challenged game of Wozniacki, she continues to collect titles practically week-in and week-out in the absence of big hitters such as the injured Venus and Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters. Few others seemingly have the ability to consistently hit her off the court.
At the Family Circle Cup Wozniacki eased past Russian Elena Vesnina 6-2, 6-3 in the final. The tournament was not without peril for the Dane, who in the third round beat No. 15 seed Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 7-6(6), 7-6(9), saving a set point in each set, and in the quarters was a break down in the second and third sets in a three-set win over No. 6 seed Yanina Wickmayer.
It was her third title of the season after Dubai and Indian Wells, and she improved to 15-9 in finals for her career.
“I feel confident and I know I can win a Slam,” said Wozniacki, addressing the ever-present questions as to when she will break her Slam duck.
Vesnina commented on the Dane’s subtle weapons such as her court coverage.
“I mean, sometimes you feel like she’s everywhere on the court,” Vesnina said. “It’s not like she was like Serena, you know, powerful play. Caroline, she’s using pace. She’s using the whole court and she’s playing smart tennis.”
Azarenka will make her first appearance in the Top 5 on the WTA Rankings after defeating unheralded qualifier Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the unfortunately-named Andalucia Tennis Experience in Marbella.
For the Belarusian it was her second consecutive title after winning the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.
Begu reached the final via upsets over No. 6 seed Klara Zakopalova and No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova.
“It was unusual to go from Miami on hardcourts to here on clay and do so well,” Azarenka said. “I’m more than pleased with the experience. It was important just to keep my mind fresh and do the same things I did in Miami. I used to practice here when I was 14, so coming here brings me back — I love it here.”
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