Two years ago, Caroline Wozniacki advanced to the final in Charleston but went down in straight sets to Sabine Lisicki. Last year, an ankle injury during the first set of the semifinals caused Wozniacki to forfeit the match. Today, Wozniacki made up for past disappointments. The world number one vanquished Elena Vesnina 6-2, 6-3 for her first championship at the Family Circle Cup and her third title of the season.
Wozniacki’s road to the final was treacherous. The Dane prevailed in two tough tiebreaker sets in the third round. Wozniacki overcame Yanina Wickmayer serving for the match in the quarterfinals and battled past Jelena Jankovic in the semifinals.
For her part, Vesnina beat defending champion Samantha Stosur in the third round and knocked out two seeded opponents in the quarter and semifinals. Thus, Vesnina was hoping to cap her week with another great victory and get her maiden WTA title after failing on four prior occasions.
In their head to head, Wozniacki had a 4-1 record against Vesnina including two semifinal wins at Ponte Vedra Beach on clay in 2009 and 2010. Consequently, Vesnina would need to do something special to walk away with the trophy.
With a backhand volley winner, Vesnina arrived at break point. Yet, with a crosscourt backhand winner, Wozniacki took care of that. Finally on her fifth game point chance, Wozniacki held for 2-1 in the first set.
Then, with a backhand down the line winner, Wozniacki had double break point. When Vesnina dumped a forehand into the net, Wozniacki secured the break and consolidated for 4-1. Later, Wozniacki broke Vesnina a second time to bank the first set.
After dismissing a break point in the first game of the second set, Wozniacki manufactured a break point. However, Vesnina came up with a great backhand volley and eventually held for 1 all.
Following, in each service game, Vesnina faced a break point even after being in front 40-0. Still, the Russian found a way to get to 3 all. Moreover, with a forehand crosscourt winner, Vesnina obtained double break point. But, Wozniacki stood her ground and forged ahead to a 4-3 edge.
Later, with a forehand up the line winner, Wozniacki had sixth break point opportunity of the second set. With Vesnina’s next shot sailing long, Wozniacki captured the break for a 5-3 advantage.
Aided by mistakes from Vesnina, Wozniacki quickly arrived at double championship point. With the Russian netting a backhand, Wozniacki wrapped up the championship.
Wozniacki admitted that it was a difficult match. It frustrated the Dane having so many break chances in the second set and not capitalizing early on.
Wozniacki said she was finally able to come through by reminding herself to “stay aggressive, try to keep [the ball] deep and stay focused”. With the injury last year, Wozniacki cited that the victory was particularly sweet “as they say the third time is the charm”.
From the green clay of Charleston, the WTA tour transitions to the red clay of Europe. One notable absentee will be Kim Clijsters. The world number two suffered a severe ankle injury while dancing at a family wedding and is questionable for the French Open.