Wozniacki defends at Ponte Vedra Beach
Originally published on: 12/04/10 09:22
Caroline Wozniacki claimed her 10th successive victory at Florida’s Ponte Vedra Beach to successfully defend her title at the MPS Group Championships on Sunday.
The world No.2, whose Indian Wells defeat to Jelena Jankovic denied her the biggest title of her career last month, equaled up her career record in finals by claiming a seventh title in 14 attempts.
Delighted to defend at Ponte Vedra Beach after downing Olga Govortsova 6-2 7-5, the Florida tournament is fast becoming a happy hunting ground for the Dane.
“I love playing here. I’ve won 10 matches in a row here, I’m so happy to win this title again,” enthused Wozniacki. “Of course you play better in the places you like. I’ve done it in New Haven before. Hopefully I can make it 15 matches in a row here next year.”
Perhaps fortunate to have made the final having found herself staring down the barrel when trailing 6-1 5-3 against Elena Vesina in the semi-finals, Wozniacki might have found herself subjected to a similar comeback by the Belarusian.
Govortsova had already upset No.2 seed Alona Bondarenko and third seed Dominika Cibulkova on her way to the final, and appeared intent on a third scalp after finding her form in the second set of the final.
But after digging herself out of a hole at 5-3 by saving two set points in a marathon game that saw eight deuces, Wozniacki rallied back to close out a straight sets victory.
“Olga started playing very well in the second set. Everything she hit was going in,” said Wozniacki. “I just started stepping into the court, and after I won that long game at 4-5, I kind of had the advantage. We had so many incredible shots in the match, it was all just about hanging in there in the end.”
Twenty-three-year-old Govortsova admitted to altering her mindset in the second set. “I had to change something, so I just tried to attack every single shot I could,” she said. “I was trying really hard right until the end. She just played too well.”
Despite the defeat, the Belarusian was in positive mood, with her Ponte Vedra run helping to erase the disappointment of six opening round exits in her first eight tournaments of the year.
“It was a good week for me: first tournament on clay this year, first final of the year… I’m very happy with my week,” Govortsova added.
Elsewhere, Flavia Pennetta won the Andalucia Tennis Experience in Marbella – despite arriving two days late for the tournament – after defeating Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2 4-6 6-3.
“I just got the better of her at the end,” said Pennetta, fresh off the back of winning the doubles in Miami with good friend Gisela Dulko. “I started well then got a bit tired, and Carla started playing more aggressively.
“I could have won it in two sets; I had to start all over again in the third, but from three-all I played very well. I think Carla will have many chances to win this tournament though.
Pennetta, who managed to translate her hardcourt form straight on to the Spanish clay without dropping a set until the final, was pleased to have made the frantic last minute trip to Marbella.
“People were telling me how good this tournament is, and they were right,” she said. “The organization was perfect and you feel very relaxed here. I will definitely try to return next year. It’s one of the best tournaments on the circuit.”