At the beginning of the season I wrote about Aga’s need to find something extra to challenge the top players as she is never going to power them off the court but today she ran into a composed, aggressive and determined Caroline Wozniacki in Doha.
From the beginning of the match despite the first set being decided so late on it was the Dane who looked the more comfortable of the two during rallies and there felt like there was an inevitability that she would end up winning rallies winning 16 more points than Aga in the match which may not sound like much but is effectively four games.
Wozniacki is someone to keep an eye on at the moment she had a great run of form at the back end of last year but hasn’t got a similar run going as of yet but it only takes a couple of good performances to do it.
Three aspects of the game which were big contributions to the result were:
· Wozniacki backhand
· Radwanska forehand pressure
· Aggressive return from Wozniacki
The backhand of Caro when not under pressure gave her time to pick her corner and slowly begin to grind rallies out and then put pressure on the Radwanska forehand corner with the depth and power on this slow court which she got forcing the Pole to stretch and try to use the slice just to stay in rallies against a patient and in control Wozniacki.
The main talking point from the match was the aggressive from Wozniacki whether is was on serve, during rallies but importantly on return.
This graphic from BT Sport pretty much sums it up. Over 75% of service returns from Wozniacki were inside the baseline some of which were almost an incredible 2 metres inside the baseline especially on that swinging serve out-wide which some of Wozniacki’s skill was all over and only ended up at times a metre behind the baseline.
This aggressive stance on returns shows that confidence in her game to execute these shots. Anyone can stand a metre inside the baseline and try to return serve but executing it throughout the match needs that composure on concentration which helped send Caro to the next round and if the weather holds off will be back in action later today!