If you're wondering, no, she did not win the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami...Yet.
Caroline Wozniacki began the tournament on a very positive note off the court, and finished with an exclamation defeat of Jelena Dokic in the second round.
For the 77 percent of voters who doubted Caroline, she will prove you wrong. For those who say her shoulder is a bigger deal than it seems, she will also prove you wrong.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Yesterday, the 2008 Sony Ericsson Awards ceremony was held, where Caroline was awarded "Newcomer of the Year." She began the 2008 season ranked outside the Top 50, but finished at No. 12 in the world and added three WTA titles to her resume.
Today was all business however. Caroline had a tough test awaiting in Jelena Dokic, who had spoiled her Australian Open party a couple months ago.
Caroline, serving first as usual, ran out to a giant lead. Her shots were painfully effective while her serve looked much better than it had at Indian Wells.
Jelena made a slight bid for a comeback, but Caroline quickly extinguished those hopes. Winning a ridiculous 83 percent of the points on her serve, she took the first set 6-3.
The second set was a different story. It was Jelena who now ran out to a big lead, forcing Caroline to play catch up. But any time Caroline got close, Jelena managed to fend her off and keep her at an arm's length.
Playing extremely opportunistic tennis, Dokic converted three of a possible four break points to take the second set, 7-5.
When coaching a player, these are the times you'd expect an answer. Caroline picked her game up—and then some. Gaining a gigantic break at two all, she took command of the final set. In doing so, she also proved that she too, can be effective with her chances.
Her serve was alive, firing five aces in the final stanza en route to a dominant 6-2 victory.
WOZNIACKI MATCH STATISTICS
· Aces: 12
· Double Faults: 4
· First Serve: 60%
· First Serve Points Won: 42/57 (74%)
· Second Serve Points Won: 20/38 (53%)
· Break Points Saved: 1/4 (25%)
· Break Points Won: 5/11 (45%)
· Service Games Played: 15
· Return Games Played: 14
· Total Points Won: 100/187 (53%)
So who's next? It's 18th-seed Patty Schnyder. Schnyder fended off a challenge from another rising player in Lucie Safarova, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. She did a great job attacking Safarova's second serve and served well enough to overcome a slow start.
It also wasn't entirely her fault, as Safarova began the match absolutely on fire, firing four first set aces and winning every one of her first serve points (13-for-13).
· Caroline is 0-1 lifetime against Schnyder. Their only meeting came in 2005 in Cincinnati, when Schnyder was the top seed in the tournament. It was also Caroline's first match on the WTA Tour.
· Caroline is 16-6 in 2009. The 30-year-old Schnyder is 3-4 and was defeated in the second round of Indian Wells.
· Caroline is 4-1 in Miami.
Fearless Projection: Wozniacki 6-3, 7-5.
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