The playing surfaces between Indian Wells and Miami are not extremely different. The climates however, couldn't be much more different.
After adjusting to the dry desert heat, Caroline Wozniacki now has to make the switch to playing in a very humid and wet climate.
A morning that saw several rain delays and scattered storms, Caroline had to wait a little longer in the locker room before taking the court. She also had plenty of time to notice a disturbing trend on the women's side, where a number of the top seeded players walked the plank.
No. 2 Dinara Safina continued to look out of sorts as she flopped into the water head first against Australian doubles specialist Sam Stosur. Indian Wells runner-up Ana Ivanovic sunk to the depths as if chained to cannon shot after a disappointing three-set loss to Hungarian Agnes Szavay.
Think Caroline didn't notice? She had seen enough upsets for one day.
Facing 30-year-old Swiss veteran Patty Schnyder for only the second time in her young career, an upset was not out of the question.
Caroline wheeled her ship broadside faster than Patty and quickly had an early lead. The skirmish looked like a total mismatch at first; Caroline just couldn't miss.
A couple aces and a few misfires by Schnyder lead to a 3-0 Wozniacki lead.
Schnyder, sensing danger, upped her game as the sky began to look threatening again.
Coupled with the weather, Schnyder managed to even the match at three.
Poor serving by Schnyder ultimately lead to her demise, as Caroline took the first set by a reasonably comfortable score of 6-4.
The battleship Schnyder was damaged, but not finished. Caroline sensed this, and started out the second set playing possibly her best tennis of the entire season.
She looked unstoppable. An upset here? No chance. She was attacking Schnyder's second serve without regard and ran out to a 5-1 lead.
The came the magic words that make any buccaneer think twice—match point. Serving for the match, Caroline earned her first MP at 40-30, but failed to capitalize.
This seemed to give Patty some life, while killing some of Caroline's moral.
She roared back like a Category Five hurricane, taking everything in her path out. At 5-4, Caroline realized it was now-or-never. Schnyder needed to be stopped now.
Gaining another match point on her serve, she made sure not to mess this one up. Final score: 6-4, 6-4. Off you go, Patty Schnyder.
WOZNIACKI MATCH STATISTICS
(Miami Tournament totals are in bold)
- Aces: 2 (14)
- Double Faults: 1 (5)
- First Serve: 60% (60%)
- First Serve Points Won: 23/38 (61%) (68%)
- Second Serve Points Won: 15/25 (60%) (56%)
- Break Points Saved: 4/7 (57%) (45%)
- Break Points Won: 5/10 (50%) (48%)
- Service Games Played: 10 (25)
- Return Games Played: 10 (24)
- Total Points Won: 74/135 (55%) (54%)
Caroline will face fourth-ranked Russian Elena Dementieva in the fourth round. She is 0-2 against Elena, with two losses in 2008. The first was at the Beijing Olympics in straight sets, and the second was at the final in Luxembourg. Elena won the title over Caroline in a third set tiebreaker there.