Family Circle Cup (3)

Coverage from the WTA Premier Event Tournament in Charleston, Sourth Carolina, April 2-10, 2011

Monday, 11 April 2011 10:35

April 10: In the Winners’ Circle

Written by
Caroline Wozniacki and Elena Vesnina both reached Sunday's Final after tough three-set wins the past week. Wozniacki had slow starts in her last three matches, but on Sunday, Vesnina was the one who could not get her feet into the match. Vesnina did a great job in controlling the points early and executing lobs when she was able to move Wozniacki forward, but once they played extended rallies, the Russian started to hit more errors, especially on the forehand side. Wozniacki broke Vesnina twice to take the first set, 6-2. The second set was reminiscent of Vesnina's quarterfinal match against Julia Goerges, where she saved nine break point chances in the third set. Against Wozniacki, Vesnina survived multiple break point opportunities serving at 1-2 and 2-3, but was not able to hold serve at 3-4. Wozniacki served out the match to win her first Family Circle Cup title, 6-2, 6-3.

Vesnina said she was not tired after a week of singles and doubles, but that it is always difficult to compete against Wozniacki because, "Sometimes you feel like she's everywhere on the court... and she's changing a little bit of pace, and she's making you think and play, and that's why I mean that's tough [to play against her]."

Sunday, 10 April 2011 11:35

April 9: Semifinals Saturday

Written by

Singles Semifinals

Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic, the two highest seeds left in the tournament by Saturday morning, played a very tight Semifinal with seven breaks of serve in the first set alone. Wozniacki broke Jankovic at 4-5 to take the first set, 6-4, and only needed one break point chance to take Jankovic's serve in the second set, again at 4-5, to win the match. Jankovic was frustrated with the way Wozniacki was able to retrieve almost every ball and hit it deep into the court. About her strategy, Wozniacki said, "I had to be aggressive and try to hit it deep because she is such a good fighter and she doesn't miss if you just give it to her half court." Jankovic said she knew she missed opportunities, including two break points not converted in the second set. "So, you know, sometimes I come to the net and I construct points and I do all the things and then I'm just about to finish it and then I either make a mistake or she does [a] great passing shot," Jankovic said. As the match progressed, clouds started to move in and the wind picked up, which Jankovic thought affected her serve. "For some reason, I couldn't really go for my first serve because it was quite windy, so I had to kind of play it safe with the serve, so I didn't really get any free points from it; and she was returning well," Jankovic explained.

Even though Wozniacki has not had great starts in her past three encounters, the World No.1 has shown great poise in finishing the matches. In the last four sets Wozniacki has played, she has broken her opponent at 4-5 for the set each time. Wozniacki said that she is in great shape and that the length of her previous two matches had not affected her physically going into the Semifinal.

Saturday, 09 April 2011 12:24

April 8: Race to the Cup

Written by

Friday was another hot and humid day in Charleston, South Carolina, where the four singles quarterfinal matches of the Family Circle Cup were played.  Jelena Jankovic, the 2007 champion, was the only former winner left in the draw.

Caroline Wozniacki and Yanina Wickmayer battled in the first quarterfinal match of the day in a rematch of their 2009 US Open semifinal encounter.  Wickmayer set the tone of the match early by breaking Wozniacki in the first game.  Wickmayer was dominating the majority of the points with her forehand and kept Wozniacki on the run. Wozniacki was visibly frustrated during the first two sets.  The match looked to be almost over when the World No. 1 found herself down 0-40 at 4-4 in the second set.  With victory in sight, Wickmayer began to misfire on the backhand, while Wozniacki responded with aggressive net play.  From triple break point down, Wozniacki won the next nine points to take the second set, 6-4.  Wozniacki said she, “tried to mix it up and play some high balls just to break her rhythm” but she realized that it was not working and adopted a more attacking strategy instead.  The third set was almost a repeat of the second set. Wickmayer raced to a 3-1 lead. Yet the Belgian’s nerves got the best of her at the end of the match when she hit two particularly horrible drop shots in her last two service games, which barely made it to the bottom of the net.  As with the second set, Wozniacki broke Wickmayer to win the third set and the match.