Saturday, April 9, 2011

Top seed Wozniacki advances to Charleston final

The buzz around the tournament was that 3rd seed Jelena Jankovic was all set to win her second Family Circle Cup championship, but today, top seed Caroline Wozniacki had another take on the issue. Wozniacki defeated Jankovic 6-4, 6-4 in a semifinal match that should have had everything, but that was really not very satisfying.

Wozniacki was broken at the start of the match. Jankovic began coming forward, as she has been practicing, and went up an early break, though it took her a while. Wozniacki then held, and when the wind picked up, both players were broken at love. At 4-all, Wozniacki held at love. Serving at 4-5, 30-40, Jankovic kicked in a big serve which set her up for a winning volley, but she hit the ball into the net and was broken on the next point.

Jankovic, who used to be known for her expert movement and her ability to find wicked angles--especially with her backhand down the line--has not been herself since she suffered an ankle injury. She is serving much better (though not so much in today's match), but she doesn't have the transition game she used to have. Today, she made so many errors, it was hard to believe that this was the same player who handled the wind (a lot more wind, in fact) so expertly in the 2007 final. The 3rd seed did try to mix things up, but the strategy didn't work too well for her; her drop shots, for example, only drew passing shots from Wozniacki.

There were eight breaks of serve in the match, which lasted close to an hour and 48 minutes. Jankovic said later that "...sometimes I come to the net and I construct the points and I do all the things and then I'm just about to finish it and then I either make a  mistake or she does a great passing shot." That about sums it up.

Jankovic said of Wozniacki: "She makes very few errors. She doesn't go for winners. She doesn't even make mistakes, so you really have to beat her if you're going to win the match against her."

That sums it up pretty well, too.