Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Caro aiming higher

After a fine second half of 2014, which included having had to play Serena Williams more times than any single human should, Caroline Wozniacki has begun 2015 with a final in Auckland and potential to enjoy even greater success than last year.
If that is to include the Australian Open, then good friend Serena will most likely be blocking the path again as the two are seeded to play in the quarter finals.  That friendship is being stretched with the draws continuing to match them against each other.

However way before that possibility, Caro needed to account for another American, young and talented Taylor Townsend, ranked 99 and the player with whom Caro dispensed in the round of 16 in Auckland.

Both girls began shakily, struggling to dominate in any shape or form on serve.  In fact,  after Caro managed to scrape together enough points to register a service hold,  the first break of the match was hers and she led 2-0 although not convincing anybody of anything to that point.

The two did settle and the left handed Townsend displayed a preparedness to approach the net, a habit that the Danish racquet twirler found troubling on more than one occasion, and Caro dropped her serve for a 2-2 scoreline.

Service was threatened for much of the next stanza but the pair managed to protect their interests, all the while participating in some interesting but not overly inspiring tennis.  The left hand v right hand was intriguing and Wozniacki did not handle it as well as she might, especially the serve.

Wozniacki did steady through her crises and so did the young player, and a tie breaker had to separate them.  Here the experience and poise of the eighth seed shone through and Caro rushed past the American to hold a 7-6 advantage.

The occasion plus a clutch of unforced errors from Taylor Townsend, together with a more fluent performance from Caroline Wozniacki contributed to a less competitive second set.  Still attacking the net, poor volleying negated the effectiveness of the teenager's tactic and Wozniacki found it increasingly easy to counter.  A break to build the pressure even further was compounded in the seventh game, and the finish line appeared only metres away for Wozniacki whose ground strokes had improved as the match progressed.

The final score of 7-6 6-2 is probably a little flattering, but Caro did finish full of running.  Taylor Townsend though has a load of inate talent and potential and could be a future star.

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