From Ice Cream to the Pilot Pen: Caroline Wozniacki Wins New Haven
NEW HAVEN, Connecticut—Call her the “Great Dane,” or simply an 18-year-old who took on the Pilot Pen and won BIG.
Denmark’s own Caroline Wozniacki is now $600,000 richer, winning her second Sony Ericsson WTA title.
Although the match wasn’t a walk in the park for her (losing the first set 6-3 to Russia’s Anna Chakvetadze), she showed later in the match what a fighter she can be.
When asked about what went wrong in the first set, Wozniacki replied, “I was returning really well, but she replied back with a better return. And then my second serve was easier for her. She just stepped in and smashed it down the line cross-court, so I knew that I had to have my first serve percentage up.”
Chakvetadze later commented on Wozniacki’s game. “Caroline is a good player. She doesn’t hit that hard, but she plays quite consistent, so against her I should play aggressive.”
Wozniacki was up 2-1 in the second set and fell, hurting her hand, but it didn’t seem to impact her game at all. She seemed to lose some of her momentum at 4-4 in the second set, but she fought hard to stay in the match, using long, baseline/cross-court volleys. Her strategy paid off, taking a 5-4 lead. Chakvetadze also began to show signs of fatigue, double faulting on the final game of the second set, giving Wozniacki the set 6-4 and an opportunity to take home the trophy.
Chakvetadze hit a lot of unforced errors during the match and later admitted to not recovering well from Friday night’s semifinal match against Amelie Mauresmo. Unfortunately, Chakvetadze simply ran out of gas, losing the match 6-3, 4-6, 1-6.
Despite being so young, Wozniacki appears to be wise beyond her years. When asked about her sudden success on the tour, she takes it all in stride. “I am having fun. I enjoy playing for a big crowd. When you’re in the finals, you don’t have anything to lose. You can just win,” she said. “It’s about enjoying every second.”
Wozniacki comes from a very competitive family and admits that she hates losing, especially to her brother Patrik, a pro soccer player. Born in Denmark, both of her parents are Polish. Her parents moved to Denmark because her father was a professional soccer player and relocated to play for the team in Denmark.
Wozniacki is not a product of a tennis academy, a route that works for some, but she is grateful to have had a very normal childhood, and simply wouldn’t have it any other way. In fact, as a kid, she and her friends used to play tennis for ice cream.
Caroline Wozniacki is a player to watch at the US Open and plans on coming back to the Pilot Pen next year to defend her title.
In other news–the doubles final, scheduled for Saturday night, will be a battle between seeded players Kveta Peschke and Lisa Raymond and the unseeded Romanian pair of Sorana Cirstea and Monica Niculescu.