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Wozniacki defeats Stephens, makes it through to China Open quarters
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Reads: 1,073, Comments: 0
Monte Carlo resident Caroline Wozniacki was engaged in a real tussle at the beginning of her face-off with Floridian Sloane Stephens as the two matched each other shot-for-shot during the early minutes of the action inside the National Stadium in the Chinese capital. Nonetheless, as the exchanges between the pair got longer and longer, Stephens began to crack down under pressure as she was left gasping for breath on numerous instances.
And, that’s why the much fitter Caroline went on to claim a 7-6, 6-1 victory over her in an hour and 44 minutes. She struck 15 lightening winners, was a perfect 100% at the net and saved 5 of the 6 break points that she offered to her rival to earn what can be called as a routine triumph after Sloane proved to be an almost non-starter in the second set.
Before the match started, the fans had billed the contest as the battle of wills and it did indeed turned out that way in the opening set as both players brought out the very best in each other in the initial six games of the set. In fact, the 4th game lasted a marathon 17 minutes that saw the former World No.1 squandering four break points.
However, the turning point of the set came at the tail end of it as Stephens appeared to look really tired and with that she handed over the decisive break to the World No.8 in game No.8 and in the subsequent game she served out the set with an easy hold. The prime difference between the two players was the disparity in the number of unforced errors – while the Dane made 22 unforced errors, her challenger committed 34 such mistakes.
Much to the dismay of a large section of the crowd set No.2 turned out to be a walk in the park for Wozniacki as without wasting anytime whatsoever she raced to 4-0 lead with a double break of serve. Thereafter, there was a feeling inside the arena that suggested that Sloane had accepted her defeat well before the match got over as she wasn’t putting much effort into trying out different things on court to break the momentum of the match. It wasn’t long before the 23 year old wrapped up the match with yet another break of serve in the seventh game.
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