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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wozniacki's winning run continues

Photo Titled Wozniacki forehand
Wozniacki forehand

Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki underlined her credentials as an exciting new talent on the women's tour as she defeated the Russian, Maria Kirilenko, 6-0, 6-4 in one hour 14 minutes on Centre Court.

Although only 18, Wozniacki came into the 2009 Championships as 9th seed after winning the pre-Wimbledon tournament at Eastbourne. Having reached the third round she has equalled her debut performance in 2008.

Wozniacki had defeated the 22-year-old Kirilenko for the loss of just two games in their only previous encounter, at Indian Wells in March last year, and it seemed for a long time in this match that she would even improve on that one-sided occasion.

She swept the opening set in only 26 minutes and when she extended the run of straight games to nine in this battle of two pony-tailed blondes sporting white visors, Wozniacki seemed headed for a 'double bagel' win.

Her forehand, struck with an exaggerated follow-through in the manner of the great Steffi Graf, inflicted serious damage on Kirilenko, and the Dane even enjoyed the occasional spot of good fortune to deepen the Muscovite's woes.

The first indications that this match might not turn out to be the ultimate cakewalk came in the second game of the second set. Although she eventually dropped serve in a long deuce contest, Kirilenko dramatically upped her work rate, accompanied by a sharply escalating level of shrieking, and suddenly Wozniacki's stroll was transformed into a decent contest for the spectators awaiting the arrival of Andy Murray in the next match.

From nine games down, Kirilenko won four of the next five games to draw level at 4-4. She especially enjoyed holding serve from 0-40 down in the eighth game. But then, as quickly as the counter-attack had been mounted, it petered out against Wozniacki's relentess hitting. Having held to love to go 5-4 ahead, the Dane then broke Kirilenko to 15 and proceeded to blow kisses to the crowd, a la Sharapova.

Centre Court - Ladies' Singles - 2nd Round
Caroline Wozniacki DEN (9)Winner66
Maria Kirilenko RUS 04

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