The semifinal encounter of world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki and reigning French Open champion Francesca Schiavone was not interesting only because all eyes are on Wozniacki’s clay play ahead of the French Open and because Schiavone is defending her title there, but also because they happen to be in the same half of the today-announced draw for the clay court Grand Slam. Wozniacki proved to be a bit better from her Italian opponent and edged a 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory.
At 4-4 in the first set, Wozniacki won her service game to love and to take the first set she followed it by breaking Schiavone to love. The second set was again leveled at 4-4, but then Schiavone broke for a 5-4 lead and won the next, long game, after saving break points. The third set was the most tightly-contested. Wozniacki opened up with a 2-0 lead, as Schiavone piled up three unforced errors in the second game. And even though Schiavone broke back right away, later, in the eighth game, Wozniacki earned a crucial break and went on to reach the Brussels Open final.
All in all, in this semifinal that lasted 2 hours and 33 minutes Schivaone’s unforced errors prevented her from being more dominant (close to the end of the match she had 52 to Wozniacki’s 25), while Wozniacki’s amazing fitness and ability to run for a long time once again proved to be one of her strongest assets.
In the preceding semifinal of the tournament, eighth seed Peng Shuai managed to defeat world No.3 Vera Zvonareva for the first time in their eight encounters and the Chinese player, ranked 31st in the world, earned the win pretty handily, 6-3 6-3. Therefore, Peng will be Wozniacki’s opponent in the title match. Peng will be playing her first Premier final. (photos courtesy of our reader Tony and Ralf Reinecke)