Two WTA events were played this week and two good friends clinched titles: Caroline Wozniacki at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston and Victoria Azarenka at the Andalucia Tennis Experience in Marbella.
The world No.1 Wozniacki survived a string of tough matches to reach the final for a chance to win her first Charleston title in three appearances (one of which was a runner-up finish in 2009 and last year’s hurtful injury retirement in the semifinals). On her first tournament on clay this year, Wozniacki survived Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the third round after two tiebreaks, and followed it with another thriller, in the quarterfinals against Yanina Wickmayer. The Dane avoided an upset in the semis against Jelena Jankovic, beating the Serb 6-4 6-4, and in the title match she didn’t face much threat against surprise finalist Elena Vesnina and won 6-2 6-3.
Wozniacki has now added Charleston to her Dubai and Indian Wells 2011 titles. Her number of WTA titles now totals 15. As for the 56th-ranked Vesnina, the week will stay as a bright point in her career, she recorded upsets of Bethanie Mattek Sands, Julia Goerges, Peng Shuai, and most importantly, her first Top 5 win against Samantha Stosur.
In Spain, Victoria Azarenka continued her winning streak and followed her last week’s Sony Ericsson Open title with a title at the claycourt tournament of the Andalucia Tennis Experience. Her opponent in the final was a player which had not been expected to go that far. It was world No.138 Irina-Camelia Begu, who had lost in the first round in her only two previous WTA main draws and was a qualifier in Marbella. Still, the Romanian pulled off upsets over No.6 seed Klara Zakopalova and No.2 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova. However, Azarenka ended her run and pretty easily defeated her 6-3 6-2 in the final.
Azarenka will make her Top 5 debut with this victory, while Begu will break into the Top 100. (photos: © Neal Trousdale, Tony)