Kvitova sends weary Wozniacki packing
ISTANBUL - Reuters
Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova returns the ball to Russia’s Vera Zvonareva during the first match of the WTA Championship finals in Istanbul. AP photo
A weary Caroline Wozniacki was sent packing from the WTA Championships after losing 6-4, 6-2 to powerful Czech Petra Kvitova in her final round-robin match on Thursday.
The day after the Dane secured the year-end world number one ranking, she looked mentally and physically drained as Wimbledon champion Kvitova marched into the semifinals with a match to spare in the Red Group.
Wozniacki, who has racked up 80 matches on the tour this year, needed to have her blood pressure checked after the first set and said after that she had nothing left in the tank.
Kvitova was joined in the last four of the season-ending event by Belarussian Victoria Azarenka who trounced China’s Li Na 6-2, 6-2 to guarantee a top-two place in the White Group, also with a match remaining.
Russian Vera Zvonareva blew her chance to secure a semifinal berth when she was ambushed by Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, squandering three match points in a 1-6, 6-2, 7-5 defeat that had the 11,000 crowd on the edge of their seats.
Needing a victory to go through from the Red Group, Zvonareva led 5-3 in the decider before Radwanska staged a thrilling fightback in the most entertaining set of the tournament.
“Petra played well,” said Wozniacki who will end a second consecutive year as number one despite failing to win a maiden grand slam.
“I wish I could have been 110 percent but my body just didn’t want to do the things I wanted today. I’ve been feeling a bit tired and to get a little bit sick now, that’s not the best if you want to beat the top players,” she told reporters.
Wozniacki said the left-handed Kvitova, the first Czech to qualify for the year-ender since Jana Novotna in 1998, would be tough to stop on the bright green and purple indoor court that has proved much to her liking.
“She’s playing very strong tennis, she’s hitting it deep and hard,” the Dane added.