Wozniacki adds to trail of beaten top 10 seeds

NEW YORK • Fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki became the highest seed to fall in the upset-filled women's draw at the US Open when Czech Petra Cetkovska stunned her 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (7-1) at Flushing Meadows on Thursday.

The shock result left only three of the top 10 seeds in the year's final Major: Serena Williams, who is seeking a calendar-year Grand Slam, second seed Simona Halep and fifth seed Petra Kvitova.

Cetkovska, who has tumbled to a 149th ranking after missing seven months with a hip injury before returning in March, was playing in the Open thanks to a special injury exemption.

She rode a powerful forehand that produced 29 of her 61 winners to victory over Wozniacki, saving four match points against the Dane - all on winners off her racket.

"I said it's now or never, so I just went for it," she said in an on-court interview about her string of saved match points.

The 30-year-old's reward is a third-round match against Italy's Flavia Pennetta, a straight-sets winner over Romanian Monica Niculescu.

Former world No. 1 Wozniacki, a finalist last year, was naturally dejected.

"She played well. I let her play well," said the 25-year-old, who had reached the semi-finals or better in four of her last six trips to Flushing Meadows.

"She had nothing to lose and went for her shots. It could have gone my way. I'm just frustrated with the match.

"Not playing my best level, but still being so close, still having my chances, not closing it out. That hurts. That really hurts."

Wozniacki won the first three games and led 4-2 before Cetkovska ran off seven games in a row to win the set. Cetkovska then took a 4-1 lead, only for the Dane to win six of the next seven games to force a third set.

The last set featured intense rallies, with Cetkovska saving one match point to hold for 5-5 and three more in the 12th game to set up the tie-breaker.

From that point on, the Czech dominated, winning the last six points to complete the upset .

The women's draw has now opened up behind world No. 1 Williams, who takes on fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the third round.

Williams has dominated the top 10 players in Majors for the past three years, compiling a 12-0 record against them. But she will be wary of the massive underdogs after losing to players ranked Nos. 14, 24, 24, 25, 35, 56 and 111 in that same period.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2015, with the headline 'Wozniacki adds to trail of beaten top 10 seeds'. Print Edition | Subscribe