Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wozniacki Dominates

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wozniacki Dominates

Article excerpt


Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki barely had to break a sweat in her first-round match at Sawgrass Country Club on Tuesday - despite the 78-degree temperature on Stadium Court.

Wozniacki, the top seed at the MPS Group Championships, defeated veteran and fan favorite Patty Schnyder in straight sets, 6-0, 6-4.

"The first clay-court match of the year is always a bit tricky," said Wozniacki, 19, from Denmark. "I'm happy to be through in two sets."

One reason the No. 2-ranked player in the world had little trouble with Schnyder on Tuesday was her solid serve. Wozniacki was broken just once and 78 percent of her first serves were on target.

"Some matches I've served harder, but here I was really focused on getting a lot of first serves in," she said. "I prefer to have more first serves in than to serve maybe 10 miles harder ... especially on clay, because the ball is slower anyway."

That often makes for longer rallies on clay than most surfaces. But Wozniacki, who has been working with a boxing trainer to improve her fitness, said the workouts help ensure she's ready to play under any conditions.

"My boxing workouts are tougher than anything else," she said with a grin.


The last-minute withdrawal of seventh-seeded Virginie Razzano was good - and unexpected - news for American Varvara Lepchenko on Tuesday.

When the Frenchwoman pulled out of the tournament with a right foot injury, Lepchenko was the lucky loser from qualifying who slipped into her spot in the main draw. At No. 107, the 23-year-old was the top-ranked player to lose in the final round of qualifying.

"Yesterday when I asked the supervisor, she said that pretty much everyone is healthy," said Lepchenko, originally from Uzbekistan. "Today, I was completely unprepared. I went to the movies [and saw] 'Hot Tub Time Machine' [Monday night]. It was pretty funny."

Lepchenko, who said she checked out of her hotel before she received word she was in the draw and had to check back in, took advantage of her second chance, defeating Mariana Duque Marino 6-1, 7-6 (2) on Tuesday to advance to the second round. …

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