Wozniacki wins 18th straight match in New Haven
Caroline Wozniacki remains undefeated at the New Haven Open.
The four-time defending champion beat Ekaterina Makarova 6-3,
6-3 in the first round Monday, her 18th consecutive victory at the
She first entered the event in 2008 when it was known as the
”Everything about the tournament and around the tournament just
makes me feel at home and makes me feel like I can play well
here,” she said.
Wozniacki was broken in the opening game, but won the next five
to take control of the first set.
Makarova got another early break in the second to go up 2-0, but
Wozniacki rallied again, getting a break to tie the set 2-2,
another in the seventh game to take the lead and a third to close
The 22-year-old Dane had to play in the first round for the
first time since 2009, after being seeded third behind Agnieszka
Radwanska and Petra Kvitova.
”I think the last few years I’ve had a bit of an easier
opponent in the first round – I’ve played `Bye,” she said. ”I’m
pretty comfortable playing `Bye.’ This year, unfortunately, `Bye’
She will face Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden in the second round.
Arvidsson beat Melanie Oudin 6-4, 6-1.
Sara Errani of Italy struggled in her second set, but rallied
for a 6-4, 7-5 win over Bethanie Mattek-Sands. The French Open
finalist and fourth seed won her first set 6-4, then rallied from a
2-5 deficit to win five consecutive games.
Mattek-Sands, still looking for her first WTA career win after
13 seasons, is ranked 216th in the world. Errani is ranked 10th and
already has won four titles this season.
Maria Kirilenko of Russia had an easier time, winning her
first-round match 6-2, 6-2 over Shahar Peer of Israel.
It was a good day for Kirilenko, who also received a car from
the Russian government as a reward for taking home the Olympic
bronze medal in London. Her mother picked up the Audi on
”It’s difficult to start the first matches on hard court,” she
said. ”It’s different movement and different bounce and different
balls, completely different than on grass courts at the Olympic
Games and Wimbledon.”
Kirilenko advanced to a second-round match with Germany’s Mona
Barthel, who eliminated Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova 6-3, 7-5. It
was Hantuchova’s earliest departure in her 10 tournament
appearances in New Haven since 2001.
Playing in only the third WTA main draw of her career, reigning
NCAA champion Nicole Gibbs also won, beating fellow qualifier Alexa
Glatch 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.
Gibbs will face Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion, in the
second round. The 22-year-old Kvitova is having a good hard-court
season, following up a win at the Rogers Cup with a run to the
semifinals in Cincinnati last week.
She asked for a wild-card entry at New Haven and ended up with
the second seed and a first-round bye. She said all these matches
should help her be ready for next week’s U.S. Open.
”You know you can practice forever,” she said. ”But the
matches are the important practice for the tournament.”