Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Wozniacki wins water-logged Rogers Cup

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MONTREAL -- Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark has won the rain-delayed Rogers Cup.

The 20-year-old ranked second in the world became a first-time winner of the US$2-million tournament Monday with a convincing 6-3, 6-2 victory over eighth-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva in a final held a day late after a weekend of relentless rain.

Wozniacki took the $350,000 winner's prize while Zvonareva got $175,000.

It was Wozniacki's third title of the year, after wins at Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and at her home tournament in Copenhagen.

Wozniacki has nine career wins and, with world No. 1 Serena Williams out with an injury, she will likely be the first seed as she shoots for a first grand slam title at the U.S. Open beginning Aug. 31.

While Wozniacki's groundstrokes were hitting the lines with their usual sharpness, Wimbledon finalist Zvonareva was clearly off her game, at times letting out shrieks after misfiring routine shots.

"It was tough for all of us waiting out the rain for two days," Zvonareva told the crowd. "It was difficult for me. It was a different court, different conditions. I tried my best but it wasn't enough against Caroline."

A key game came with Wozniacki leading 5-3 in the first set, as the Dane fell behind 0-40 and then won five straight points to close the set.

After breaking serve for a 5-2 lead in the second, Wozniacki wrapped it up with four straight points on her serve, gave a little fist pump and walked up to shake hands with her opponent.

Despite it being a weekday, the stands at Uniprix Stadium were about two-thirds full on a sunny afternoon.

The tournament went into an extra day after nearly all action was washed out by rain on Saturday and Sunday.

The semfinals were played in the morning, when Wozniacki, the second seed, downed Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-3. Zvonareva advanced when her opponent, 10th-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, retired with a blister on her left foot. Zvonareva led 7-6, 1-0.

The courtside trainers worked on Azarenka's foot for several minutes. She got up and tried to walk, but immediately sat back down.

She said the injury was not severe enough to keep her out of the U.S. Open in New York.

"I don't see how I got a blister after sitting on my (rear end) for two days," said Azarenka, who was in tears as she spoke to reporters after the match. "I tried to deal with it, but I couldn't continue."

Wozniacki and 11th-seeded Kuznetsova completed a semifinal that began on Saturday and stopped due to rain with Wozniacki leading 2-0, 0-15. But it was cut short due to the relentless rain, which finally stopped early Monday morning.

The doubles final was played indoors on Sunday night, with Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovakia taking the title.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 24, 2010 B10

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