WTA Rogers Cup: Caroline Wozniacki races into round two

A night after Venus Williams won her first ever match in Toronto, 2010 Rogers Cup champion Caroline Wozniacki claimed her first victory in Canada’s largest city in dominant fashion, needing only one hour to finish off qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova in straight sets. With the exception of a lull midway through the first set, the match was all-Wozniacki as she drove Alexandrova into the ground with her consistent groundstrokes, polishing off the 22-year-old 6-3, 6-0.

Wozniacki comes out flying

The heavily-favoured Dane wasted no time in seizing control of the match, capitalizing on some early jitters from her young opponent to grab an early break in the second game when, after double-faulting, Alexandrova drove her shot long on break point. Wozniacki would quickly consolidate, winning 12 of the first 15 points for a 3-0 lead in just under seven minutes.

Ekaterina Alexandrova hits a forehand. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Ekaterina Alexandrova hits a forehand. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

However, the Russian quickly put her nerves behind her and settled in with some big hitting which seemed to get in the head of Wozniacki. Knotted at deuce on the Dane’s serve, Wozniacki fired a routine backhand from the midcourt well long to set up a break point. She would dodge the bullet in that game when Alexandrova missed a forehand at the end of a long rally, but the Russian wasn’t going away. In the following return game, her groundstrokes clicked as she reeled off five straight points from 40-0 down to break Wozniacki and close to 3-4.

However, Alexandrova could not keep her new level up. Errors began to pour off her racquet one again and she soon found herself down double break point. She would save the first, but netted her backhand on the second to gift Wozniacki the break back and a 5-3 lead. The sixth seed wrapped up the set in the following game.

Dane dominates

Wozniacki picked up where she left off to start the second set, racing ahead 0-40 in the opening game. Alexandrova would raise her level one more time, fending off all three break points, only to miss a routine shot long at deuce to give the Dane another break point. This time, the Russian netted a backhand to surrender the early break once again. Two games later, things went from bad to worse as Alexandrova blew a 40-15 lead and falling behind break point. At 40-AD, the Dane chased down a drop shot and brilliantly ripped a forehand crosscourt winner to seal the double break.

Wozniacki rips a forehand. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Wozniacki rips a forehand. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The young Russian would try to put some pressure back on her more experienced opponent in the following game, taking a 0-30 lead, only to let Wozniacki off the hook with errors as the Dane took a 4-0 lead. In the following game, Wozniacki broke for a third time to move within a game of victory. Serving out the match, she did not have things all her own way as she failed to convert her first two match points and had to fend off a break point before converting her third match point to wrap up the win in just over an hour.

By the numbers

Wozniacki pummeled her opponent’s serve in this match, limiting Alexandrova to 56 percent of her first serve points won. The Dane would win 72 percent of her second serve return points. Wozniacki defended her serve well, limiting her opponent to only three break point opportunities, saving two of them. She converted five of her ten break points.

In the third round, Wozniacki awaits the winner between ninth seed Agnieszka Radwanska and Timea Babos.