Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wozniacki and Vesnina--paths to the final

Tomorrow, top seed Caroline Wozniacki, the number 1 player in the world, will play Elena Vesnina in the final of the Family Circle Cup. Here is how each woman made it to the final:

round 1--bye
round 2--def. Irina Falconi, 6-1, 6-1
round 3--def. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (15), 7-6, 7-6
quarterfinals--def. Yanina Wickmayer (6), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
semifinals--def. Jelena Jankovic (3), 6-4, 6-4

round 1--def. Rebecca Marino, 6-7, 6-2, 6-3
round 2--def. Bethanie Mattek-Sands (14), 6-4, 7-6
round 3--def. Sam Stosur (2, def. champ.), 6-4, 6-1
quarterfinals--def. Julia Goerges (12), 2-6, 6-2, 6-2
semifinals--def. Peng Shuai (11), 7-6, 6-3

Caroline Wozniacki has played four matches, whereas Elena Vesnina has played eight. Vesnina, who is unseeded, did not have a bye in the first round, and she has also played three doubles matches. The Russian player, who is ranked number 56 in the world, had not planned to play in Charleston this year because of a wrist injury. However, two-time Charleston runner-up Vera Zvonareva--who injured her wrist in Charleston a few years ago--advised Vesnina on getting treatment, which Vesnina said helped her a lot.

Also, Vesnina's coach (who is also her father) noticed that she had changed her technique, and that the change brought on the injury. "...if I'm going with the wrong movement again," Vesnina said, "mechanical, you know, shot, it starts hurting again. So I feel it only if I'm doing the wrong shot."

"...I'm just enjoying my time on the court," Vesnina said, "so I don't feel that I'm tired, or I'm trying to think that I'm not tired, and that's why everything is going my way."

Vesnina's highest singles ranking was number 22 in the world, which she held in 2009. She has a 1-4 record against Wozniacki. The last time they played was in 2010 on the green clay of Ponte Vedra Beach, in the semifinals, and Wozniacki won 1-6, 7-6, 6-4.

This is Vesnina's sixth year to enter the Family Circle Cup, and Wozniacki's third. In 2009, Wozniacki lost in the final to Sabine Lisicki, and in 2010, she injured her ankle and had to retire in the semifinals.