Caroline Wozniacki put on her best match of tennis at the Connecticut Open Tuesday night. The four time winner of the open came into her first round with fire where she defeated American Alison Riske 6-0, 6-2 on center court at the Connecticut Tennis Center on the campus of Yale University.
Both were on track to show some kind of improvement in their games before the US Open next week. The trouble stood in different areas when it came to their situation. Riske is a low ranked player who has trouble defeating some of the world’s best. In her last ten matches, the American has only won four dating back to the second round of Wimbledon.
Wozniacki had a lot of thinking to do with a leg that has been troubling her since Stanford. The Dane has ruled out retiring in the last three tournaments, only to be knocked out right away. Her skills have not faded away but with her dealing with the pending injury it tended to scale them back. The odds would not be in her favor if she cant compete in New Haven putting the last Grand Slam of the season in jeopardy.
Wozniacki held serve to start the first game looking strong off the baseline service to take the win on Riske. In Game Two, the Dane broke the American due to the numerous errors that were adding up early. While she tried to end the bad run, Wozniacki sat in a comfortable spot jumping out to 3-0 holding serve once more.
The wins for the Dane were accumulating faster than time could go by. At the time she took a 5-0 lead over Riske, only 15 minutes had elapsed since the match began leaving most to believe that this was going to end quickly. Game Six was the American’s last chance to make a statement against Wozniacki clutching onto two points before she was shutout in the set that ended in 21 minutes.
Wozniacki was completely flawless on the second serve that seemed to be the dominating factor over Riske. Her first serve stood at 82 percent holding every break point in the set. Riske won no points on her serve as she maintained a stance in one particular spot as well as having little rhythm to have against a very strong player.
The second started much like the first with Wozniacki winning her seventh straight against the struggling Riske. She made her best stance on serve where despite being forced on deuce, the 25 year old put up big shots to be competitive against Wozniacki to win a game. The fun was over for the American as Wozniacki held her ground on serve despite the American’s attacks to steal wins away.
The Dane fought through the next pair of games to take a 4-1 lead on Riske. After a second talk with her coach, Riske made a big statement on serve getting ahead of Wozniacki and finished the game with a great lobbed shot that she setup perfectly. With the margin cut in half, Riske was getting somewhere with the newfound resilience. It was not to be, as she was still under performing to even with Wozniacki who inevitably went on to take the remaining games left for the match win.
The victory was more than just a success as she defeated her opponent in less than an hour. “I know that she is a tricky opponent,” Wozniacki said about Riske during her on court interview. “She has beaten top ten players before so for me I went in in this match knowing that I need to stick closer to the baseline get a lot of return speed and a lot of first serves in and I played really well today. I didn’t want to let her back in because she can be dangerous.”
The win snapped a four-match skid for Wozniacki who looked solid on court in her return to be champion once again. “It’s so special, I love playing back here winning here four times brings back amazing memories.” Memories will be written in history as will the second round as Wozniacki goes into it meeting Italian Roberta Vinci Wednesday afternoon.