Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wozniacki fights till morning to beat Hantuchova.

The Saturday evening women’s match rolled into a Sunday morning finish, as World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki pushed Daniela Hantuchova to a tie-break battle in the third round match of the Sony Ericsson Open. Wozniacki held off three set points to claim the match 6-1 7-6(7), in one hour and 53 minutes.

At five all in the second set, Wozniacki hit a series of backhands down the line to twice gain the advantage over Hantuchova. She had three break chances, but Hantucova hit an ace and a winner to go up in the second set 6-5. In the next game, Hantuchova gave up two set points, allowing Wozniacki to hold off the break and even the set at six all.

Wozniacki won three consecutive points in the tie-break, only to drop the next five points. While Hantuchova had an opportunity to force a third set, Wozniacki fought back against the Slovakian, who made a collective 54 unforced errors in the course of the match.

This is Wozniacki’s fourth main draw appearance at Miami, to Hantuchova’s 12th, though neither has advanced past the quarter-finals. Wozniacki is now 3-0 in the women’s meetings, and will continue her campaign for a 15th singles title in the fourth round against Andrea Petkovic.

Wozniacki, who has won the last five WTA Premier Mandatory/Premier 5 tournaments, had 20 winners tonight, and is en route to her third title of the year. Though neither she nor Hantuchova has ever won a grand slam tournament, Wozniacki reached the semi-finals of the Australian open this year, and Hantuchova has won a mixed doubles title at each of the four tournaments.

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