World #6 Caroline Wozniacki claimed her first title this year at the Toray Pan Pacific Open and ended her streak of six final losses by beating Anastasiya Pavlyuchenkova, 6-0 7-5. Wozniacki was bolder and more consistent than her opponent throughout the match, clocking sixteen winners and only three (!) unforced errors.
In a match that lasted an hour and thirteen minutes, it was clear from the outset that Wozniacki was the fresher and the more experienced of the two players, having also won the title in Tokyo last year. Bageling Pavlyuchenkova in the first set, she gave herself the confidence and belief to then maintain her aggression and consistency, despite Pavlyuchenkova coming back into the match in the second set. Wozniacki also served incredibly well, hitting six aces and never being faced with a break point throughout the match. It seems as though, if she can continue to serve so consistently in tournaments to come, she could still add to her title tally this year.
Pavlyuchenkova, on the other hand, can be proud of her performances at this tournament. She went through a tough three-setter against Angelique Kerber in the semi-finals, and she kept herself competitive despite Wozniacki’s flawless start. Her showing in the final should give her some much welcome WTA points, and it could put her in good stead for a potential breakthrough into the world’s Top 15, should she repeat her performances of this tournament and stay injury-free.
The match, however, belonged to Wozniacki. She now has twenty-six WTA singles titles to her name, of which twenty-one have come on a hard court. This ranks her as fourth highest among active players, which is an incredible achievement, and one that she does not receive enough recognition for. Ever the fan favourite, Wozniacki can now face the rest of the Asian hard court season full of confidence. If she claims another title this year and has a good run at the year-ending WTA Tour Finals in Singapore, then she could put herself in good stead for attacking the Top 4 going into the next season.