If ever a tennis player needed a title it was Caroline Wozniacki. The Dane has suffered a terrible season yet ends 2012 with a second WTA title in as many months after defeating Sam Stosur 6-2 4-6 7-5 in an epic encounter in Moscow.
Wozniacki picks up a cheque of $740,000 dollars for Russia’s showpiece Kremlin Cup event yet will take more confidence in her victory than any amount of money can buy.
The 22-year-old started well against Stosur, whom she had a 3-3 career record, grinding her opponent down with resilient tennis that screams of the quality she showed when world number one last season.
Stosur could not reply in the first set and appeared restricted by her own game, offering up unforced errors during her own serve to quickly find herself a set down and broken three times. In reply, the Australian came back fighting and broke Wozniacki in the second set – enough to force her way back into the match.
Indeed, the pair entered the final set in completely opposite form from the first, with Wozniacki unable to even find successive points against her opponent.
However, Wozniacki’s rollercoaster ride this season fit her game well and the Dane once more came back, pinning her rival level in the third 4-4. Wozniacki gifted Stosur three break points – all spurned – and headed into the final game 6-5 up on the Australian’s serve.
So unpredictable has Wozniacki’s season been that even with a match point there will have been some predicting a loss, yet Stosur’s final forehand wide handed Wozniacki the title and secured her place in the top-15 of the women’s game heading into the new year.