Wozniacki wins Brussels Open

Top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki overcame a thigh injury to beat China's Peng Shuai 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 and win the inaugural Brussels Open.

Updated: May 22, 2011 00:54 IST
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Brussels: Top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki overcame a thigh injury to beat China's Peng Shuai 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 and win the inaugural Brussels Open.

It was Wozniacki's fourth tournament victory this year, unmatched on the WTA Tour, and a welcome boost ahead of the French Open.

Starting sluggish following a tough three-set win over Francesca Schiavone late Friday, the Dane found her touch and fighting spirit in the second set against the 31st-ranked Chinese.

The only drawback was that Wozniacki needed medical treatment on her left thigh in the third set before clinching victory.

"If there is a possibility to call it a tie, we should have called it a tie," Wozniacki told the sellout crowd of 4,500.

Despite victory, the cream-colored bandage round her left leg left a question mark over Wozniacki's first round match at Roland Garros against a player twice her age, 40-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan. With two tense three-setters in as many days, Wozniacki played over five hours of top tennis in just over 24 hours before heading for Paris.

Wozniacki looked tentative throughout the first set and committing five double faults was only part of her problem. She found it tough to focus and get the length on her groundstrokes right as the wind rustled through the plane trees lining center court.

In contrast, Peng played with abandon, looking for the inside of the lines with her double fisted forehand and backhand. She was constantly looking for winners while Wozniacki was mostly waiting for the Chinese to make errors.

Peng, 25, was looking for her first WTA tour win but is 0-for-4 so far.

Wozniacki was coming off a 2½ hour thriller late Friday against defending French Open champion Schiavone which she won 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, and often looked sluggish under sunny conditions and 25C (77F) on the Primerose center court.

Peng already had the momentum with her, coming off a convincing 6-3, 6-3 win against third-ranked Vera Zvonareva on Friday.

Yet in the second set, with her first title beckoning, Peng started to falter. In the third game she failed to convert seven break points and the momentum of the match turned.

Wozniacki immediately broke, shook off the fatigue and finally started playing like the world's top-ranked player. She won the set on an ace.

But nothing was going to be easy. After forcing a break early in the third set, Wozniacki looked in pain and asked for doctor's treatment.

She came back with a huge tape high up round her left thigh. Soon Peng broke back for 3-3 as Wozniacki no longer moved around court with ease.

But it was Peng's time to show weakness, making the wrong decisions and putting easy balls wide.

Despite her medical problems, Wozniacki came through for her 16th title.

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  • Tennis
  • Caroline Wozniacki
  • Vera Zvonareva
  • Marion Bartoli
  • Francesca Schiavone
  • Shuai Peng
  • Sania Mirza

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