Reported by WTA – ISTANBUL, Turkey – Caroline Wozniacki followed Roberta Vinci into the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup final on Saturday night, outsteadying WTA Rising Star Kristina Mladenovic in the semifinals.
The two had played once before, with Wozniacki winning a close two-setter in Monterrey earlier this year, and going into this one Wozniacki knew what she had to do: “I’ll have to stay focused and aggressive because she has a good forehand and a good serve,” she said after her quarterfinal match.
“I will try and make her run.”
The Turning Point
And that’s exactly what the former World No.1 did. Wozniacki stayed close to the baseline and absorbed all of Mladenovic’s power, redirecting it to all corners as she drew a wealth of unforced errors from her younger opponent. There were some tense moments towards the end – after storming out to a 6-2, 4-1 lead, Wozniacki watched on as Mladenovic snuck out a pair of games to close in to 6-2, 4-3.
But Wozniacki has had all kinds of experience in those tense moments, and she finished fast with two quick games to close it out, 6-2, 6-3. Mladenovic hit one last error long on the first match point.
By The Numbers
Wozniacki is now through to the milestone 35th WTA final of her career, going 21-13 in her first 34. She has won at least one WTA title a year every year since 2008 and is hoping to keep that going.
“The conditions were difficult out there today with the wind, so it made everything a little harder,” Wozniacki said. “I just tried to stay focused and play my best tennis and I’m glad it worked out.”
Awaiting the No.1-seeded Wozniacki in the final of the International-level event is the No.2-seeded Vinci, and it’s a danger match-up – Vinci leads Wozniacki in their head-to-head series, 2-1, including beating the Dane when she was ranked No.1 in 2011 and also winning their only 2014 encounter.
Vinci is also on a roll – she has won eight of nine matches since coming out of Wimbledon.
“Tomorrow is going to be a good fight,” Wozniacki said.
“We both have a lot of experience, and I will have to be aggressive and make her move.”