Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki became the first player to secure a semi-final berth on the second day of the round robin stage of the WTA Tournament of Champions in Sofia on October 31.
Top seed and title favourite Wozniacki won in straight sets against Roberta Vinci of Italy (6-3, 6-1) in a match that pitted two winners from the first day of the tournament.
Wozniacki dominated on first serve and gave Vinci few opportunities to break serve, taking full advantage of her own chances to break.
Local crowd favourite Tsvetana Pironkova, who appeared to be still suffering from exhaustion after her three-hour match the previous day, lost against Russia’s Maria Kirilenko in straight sets 6-1, 6-4.
Again, Pironkova started the first set less than convincingly, despite breaking her opponent’s serve in the very first game of the match, only to drop the next six. Unlike the previous day, however, her improvement in the second set was not sufficient to carry her to victory.
In the third match of the day, second seed Nadia Petrova of Russia beat Zheng Jie of China 6-3, 6-3. Neither player managed to hold serve in the first five games of the match, but Petrova, who did not play on day one, soon asserted herself against Jie, Pironkova’s opponent in the three-hour match on the previous night.
On day three, the scheduled matches will pit Petrova against Kirilenko, with the winner virtually securing a spot in the semi-finals; Wozniacki will play her last round robin match against Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova, who needs to win to keep her semi-final hopes alive; in the last match, Vinci will play against Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan. Pironkova and Jie will have their much-needed day of rest.
(Wozniacki all but secured a spot among the final four with her win on day two of the tournament. Photo: sofia-tennis.bg)