Wozniacki out to break Grand Slam duck

TOKYO • Caroline Wozniacki has set her sights on winning a first Grand Slam title next season after defeating Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-0, 7-5 yesterday to win her third Pan Pacific Open.

The defending champion needed only 75 minutes to complete the rout in the Tokyo sunshine, capturing her first title of the year after losing in six finals.

"Hopefully, if I stay healthy, I can put myself in position," said the two-time US Open finalist in reference to a Major breakthrough. "When you go on a roll and play great tennis, you're going to give yourself opportunities."

Wozniacki finished as year-end world No. 1 in 2010 and 2011, but has since slipped back to sixth in the rankings.

She remains a contender at every tournament she plays in, however, and stormed through the first set in just 22 minutes.

Pavlyuchenkova saved a match point in the 10th game of the second set before the Dane eventually converted on her third opportunity, fizzing a backhand pass down the line to claim the 26th WTA singles title of her career.

"It was my seventh final this year and obviously, after a while, it gets harder and harder," said Wozniacki after winning her first tournament since Hong Kong in October last year. "Obviously I've won here in the past and it has great memories for me, so I'm happy I was able to stay focused and aggressive."

The victory also increased Wozniacki's chances of qualifying for the WTA Finals in Singapore for the first time in three years.

The 27-year-old is up one spot to fifth in the Race to Singapore. The top eight singles players qualify for the Oct 22-29 showpiece event which offers US$7 million (S$9.44 million) in prize money.

Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko also moved up a notch to seventh after winning the Korea Open title in Seoul yesterday.

The top seed beat Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-7 (5-7), 6-1, 6-4, in a match that lasted two hours and 15 minutes.

"I'm really happy to win my second title here and in my career," the French Open champion said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2017, with the headline 'Wozniacki out to break Grand Slam duck'. Print Edition | Subscribe