No. 1 Wozniacki moves into semis
Another day, another grinder.
And another victory for Caroline Wozniacki.
Wozniacki, the No. 1 women's tennis player in the world, needed 2 hours, 22 minutes to defeat No. 6 seed Yanina Wickmayer, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, in a Family Circle Cup quarterfinal match Friday.
The victory came a day after she beat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (9), in a match that lasted 2:33.
"It was difficult. It was a tough match," Wozniacki said. "I think Yanina played very well today. She went for her shots. She had some big shots, so it was not easy, but I kept fighting, and I felt like I had to stay in the game and keep moving my legs. And, I felt like it was a good match out there today."
Wozniacki's back was against the wall in the second set with Wickmayer needing just five points to pull off the upset.
With the score tied at 4 and Wozniacki serving, Wickmayer took a 40-0 lead. But Wozniacki gained the advantage and took the game with one of her seven aces. That gave her a 5-4 lead and a boost of confidence.
"I just kept focused." Wozniacki said. "I knew I had one chance, and I had to take that one. I did, and it turned out in my favor, so I'm very happy.
"It feels good definitely," she added. "I would have felt much worse if I lost those matches. I wouldn't have been here today."
Part of Wickmayer's plan was to make Wozniacki run.
"She's someone that gets a lot of balls back, so I wanted to be aggressive, but not make mistakes too early," Wickmayer said. "So I was trying to make her run and go for the winner at the right time. I think I was a little too defensive."
Wozniacki is playing in her third Family Circle Cup. She reached the finals in 2009, losing to Sabine Lisicki in the championship.
Last year, she suffered an ankle injury in the semifinal against Vera Zvonareva and was forced to retire.
This year, the ankle and psyche are just fine.
"I've been going and going, and sliding and sliding and sliding up to those drop shots in practice just to remind myself and my feet and my brain that nothing will happen," Woznaicki said. "Plus, I have both of my legs taped, so nothing can happen. Or nothing should happen."