Roberta Vinci

WTA Madrid: Vinci halts injured Wozniacki

TENNIS WTA Madrid – Caroline Wozniacki’s subpar season continues as another injury thwarted her performance today, when she suffered a 6-3 6-3 loss to Roberta Vinci. Giulio Gasparin

The former world number one, after shortly slipping out of the top 15 few months ago for the first time since she was 18, seems to be far from gaining her position as a solid top 10 player.

Italian veteran Vinci had all the credits for playing a very solid and smart match, despite the injury of her opponent could have led to a loss of focus.

In the third game of the opening set, Vinci was already up a break but it was a very intense game in which both had plenty of chance to win it, but no one could size it for long.

After wasting one of the eight break points she had in that game, Wozniacki walked to the umpire and called for the training to come on court.

The Dane looked particularly bothered by her left knee and as the minutes passed she tried more and more to avoid her usual tactic of great defence for a faster ending of the point.

Vinci managed to hold her serve in the game and went on breaking Wozniacki’s serve easily, when finally the physiotherapist intervened and heavily taped the 13th seed’s knee.

The Italian looked very confident and for the first time in her unfortunate season so far, she showed some of her most solid tennis, exploiting the variety of her sliced backhand to keep Wozniacki out of the comfort zone.

The Dane tried a mild reaction, but it was clear that her side movements were hampered by the injury, so that she tried several time to denature her game by charging the net and looking for winners early in the rally.

Wozniacki captured one of the breaks back, but the experience of Vinci helped the Italian in finding a way to reply to the change of tactics of her opponent.

Finally Vinci found another break to close the first set 6-3.

The world number 14 started the second set breaking the Italian’s serve for the second, and last, time in the match.

Her first appearance on the front foot of the match did not last long though, as Vinci broke back to love and went on being on the lead until the very end.

Wozniacki’s attitude was extremely resigned and despite the fact that she kept trying to finish the points fast and managed to show some glimpses of good net-game, she looked as if she wanted it to be over soon.

For the Dane things keep looking far from bright and the clay season promises to be as bad as last year’s, when she collected only one win out of four tournaments she played.

This year her game looks still far from good and many questions her motivation. Now with a wrist injury forcing her out of Stuttgart and this knee injury compromising her Madrid run, it seems unlikely that she will be any relevant in Rome or Paris.

As for Vinci, after a very difficult beginning of the year, her season seems to pick up and her unorthodox and a bit retro style of tennis can still prove to be hard to tame, especially for youngsters.

The Italian will play in the next round against Agniszka Radwanska, who survived three consecutive match points against Svetlana Kuznetsova before closing 6-3 4-6 7-6 (6).