Nadia Petrova said that if she hadn't thrown her back out early in the third set of her New Haven final against top seed Caroline Wozniacki, she might have been able to launch a serious challenge to take the title. Perhaps. The back injury certainly didn't help, but throughout the match, Petrova exhibited the frustrating streakiness for which she is known.
Petrova managed to hit twelve aces--four of them in one game (I haven't seen anyone do that since Lindsay Davenport did it several years ago), but she, like her opponent, had problems serving into the bright sun. Petrova repeatedly set up sure-thing winning shots, but failed to execute them by hitting the ball long. Wozniacki won the first set 6-3, but in the second, Petrova--looking a lot like Thrill Ride did before her injury--broke Wozniacki three times to win that set 6-3. She did it the hard way--working around her own errors--but her opponent was making more errors, too.
Wozniacki went up 2-0 in the third set, and Petrova called for a trainer because of an obvious back injury. She then went down 1-3, but broke Wozniacki to get back on serve. She then had significant difficulties with her serve, and was broken at love. Wozniacki took the set 6-3, and thereby won the New Haven tournament three times in a row. This is her fourth title this year, and her tenth career title.
"I'm on a roll," she said afterwards. Wozniacki, who is seeded first at the U.S. Open, won the Rogers Cup in Montreal before going to New Haven. She is also the winner of the U.S. Open Series. Should she win the U.S. Open, she will get a $1,000,000 bonus. If she is the runner-up (which she was last year), she will get a $500,000 bonus. Should she make it no higher than the semifinals, she would get a $250,000 bonus.
Kim Clijsters placed second in U.S. Open series points, and Svetlana Kuznetsova placed third. They, too, are eligible for bonuses.