Caroline Wozniacki’s three-set victory over Sam Stosur in Sunday’s final of the Kremlin Cup could be a defining moment in the young star’s career, after a tempestuous season suggested she would never regain the form of previous years.
Wozniacki, playing in a rare 2012 tour final, overcame Stosur 6-2 4-6 7-5 in Moscow to secure her second WTA title of the year – a poor harvest for someone who started 2012 as world number one.
Indeed, bad form and injuries have seriously hampered Wozniacki’s season yet she was expected to win more titles than Moscow and Seoul, the latter of which she claimed last month. Her ranking has slipped from first to 11th and did not look likely to improve before her Kremlin Cup victory.
So poor has the Dane been that there were serious misgivings that she would ever reclaim a place in the world top-10 again but this second title of the year should see her rise up the rankings – if only a little.
Indeed, the title will be crucial both for her confidence and her seeding at Grand Slams next season. Had she succumbed to the powerful Stosur, Wozniacki would have gone into next year without form, confidence or the ranking needed for a respectable draw at the Australian Open. Some would argue she doesn’t deserve a good seeding after falling in the third round of Roland Garros this summer before collapsing to first-round defeats at Wimbledon and the US Open.
However, this three-set victory proves Wozniacki has it in her to match the best. Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka have all pushed the bar higher than ever before this year and Wozniacki must capitalise on this title in Russia and start the season well next January.
If the 22-year-old can find her form again then she will become a formidable opponent on the circuit once more and with the illusive first Grand Slam still far out of reach, any WTA tour success at this stage is no doubt greatly received.