the legend

joyful rogger fedder

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wozniacki bridges age gap

Photo Titled Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark may be regarded as the future of women’s tennis but she had to survive an almighty scare in the first round against a player who first appeared at Wimbledon before she was even born.

Kimiko Date Krumm, aged 38, played her first match at SW19 way back in 1989, a year before 18-year-old Wozniacki entered the world.

And Date Krumm, who reached the semi-finals here in 1996, stunned Wozniacki by taking the first set and breaking twice in the second to lead 3-1.

But Eastbourne winner Wozniacki, in the form of her young life, finally showed why she is so well regarded. She went on to claw back the second set then raced away with the third to eventually prevail 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.

Despite taking a 2-0 lead in the first set, Wozniacki struggled early on against Date Krumm’s game. The Japanese lady, who has only recently returned to the Tour after a near 12-year absence, showed fine grass-court aptitude, winning crucial points at the net.

“I knew kind of what to expect from her, and I knew that she's been doing good on grass before,” Wozniacki
admitted after the match. “The game was just different from what I am used to. She was playing really flat, and I really had to get under the ball a lot."

"She took advantage of that when I was playing short and came to the net and was playing well.”

It was Wozniacki's unforced errors that proved crucial in a topsy-turvy first set.

At 5-6 Date Krumm broke the Dane at the third time of asking with a wonder shot down the line.

Date Krumm continued to roll back the years at the start of the second set and Wozniacki looked in real danger of going out at the first stage. Wozniacki was struggling with her serve with Date Krumm twice breaking to lead 3-1.

But the Dane found an extra gear, and with her powerful ground strokes, eventually established control of the match. She won the next five games to take the set and never looked back.

With Date Krumm tiring and calling for the trainer, Wozniacki easily took the decisive set 6-1.

"It's amazing that she's still coming back and still playing at this level," said Wozniacki. "I think that's great, and she's in such good shape. I'm really impressed."

And despite her slow start, 2006 junior winner Wozniacki is confident about her chances at the rest of The Championships.

"I like grass," she said. "I think it suits my game, and I usually like it fast. I like the shorter rallies. I like being the one who decides to open up the court first. And I think that my game suits the grass. I think that I've showed that, also, by winning Eastbourne and playing some good matches there."

Russian Maria Kirilenko, who got the better of Petra Kvitova, is next up for Wozniacki in the second round.

"Today I could have been out," added Wozniacki. "I'm just looking at one match at a time. Kirilenko's a good player, so I need to be 100% focused."

Court 2 - Ladies' Singles - 1st Round
Caroline Wozniacki DEN (9)Winner566
Kimiko Date Krumm JPN 731

No comments:

Post a Comment