photo credit:The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
The 2010 Japan Open women’s singles semi final matches were completed yesterday. Today the Women’s Singles Final will be played on centre court at 1pm local time in Tokyo at the Ariake Colosseum between No.1 seed Caroline Wozniacki and No.7 seed Elena Dementieva.
The Japan Open is the fifth and final WTA Premier FIVE tournament in 2010, which means it is one of the major tournaments each year. This year is the 26th straight year for this tournament and the prize money is 2 million US dollars. The title sponsorship rights mean that the Japan Open is officially called the Toray Pan Pacific Open or the PPO for short. We will keep you updated here at OCA by updating the score as the final progresses today.
In the first semi final we saw a huge battle between the two young blond-haired stars who were square at 2 wins each in their previous battles. The match went for 2 hours and 51 minutes with Wozniacki prevailing 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4. Wozniacki is pictured above during the 2010 US Open after making contact with the ball for her best shot, her double handed backhand drive.
A number of changes in momentum occurred throughout the match and as mentioned in the semi final post, the 21 year old Azarenka of Belarus is volatile and can play better than any other woman on the WTA Tour for periods of time. The 1.8m Azarenka trailed 5-0 in the final set before going on one of her tares as she won 16 of 19 points to surge back to 4-5.
The 20 year old Wozniacki from Denmark then served for the match and a spot in her first Japan Open final and closed it out with 4 straight points to keep her assault on the World No.1 ranking going. The 1.77m Wozniacki can move to 186 WTA ranking points from becoming the World No.1 by winning the title in Japan.
In the second semi final we the battle of the veterans and rematch of this year’s Roland Garros semi final which Dementieva had to forfeit to eventual Roland Garros champion Francesca Schiavone after losing one intense tie-break set. This time the soon to be 29 years old Dementieva held on in an intense 2 set match where she had match points at 5-3 in the second set before moving to 7-5 in their head to head matches.
The 1.8m Dementieva from Russia won 6-4 7-5 against the 30 year old Italian in precisely 1 hour less than Wozniacki took to win her semi final. Dementieva won the Japan Open singles title in 2006 and has already moved herself into the 8th and final place in the race to qualify for the WTA Tour Finals by making the final here. However, next week’s China Open is a huge tournament in class and importance as a number of players could overtake Dementieva with a win in China.
Dementieva will be looking to qualify for the WTA Tour Finals for the tenth time in the past 11 years. Her career high ranking is No.3, which she achieved on April 6 2009. Dementieva is one of THE most successful players on the WTA Tour having made the semi finals or better of all 4 Grand Slam singles tournaments and needs to win today to maintain her record on winning 3 WTA Tour tournaments a year for the past 3 years.
Today’s Japan Open Women’s Singles Final is set to be a great match after last year seeing Jelena Jankovic retire in the 1st set after only 7 games to hand Maria Sharapova the title. In another battle of the blondes both players have so much at stake including taking the upper hand in their head to head battles, which stands at 3 wins each currently. In their last match at the end of August in New Haven this year on hard courts, they went right down to a final set tie-break before Wozniacki won by 7 points to 5.
When asked about her chances in the final Wozniacki said “I’ve had a great run the last couple of months, I’m feeling confident, but I know there’s a very tough opponent I’ll have to face tomorrow.” In comparison, Dementieva said “I’m just very happy to be in the final and expect a very tough match against Caroline. She has been playing very well this season.”
Wozniacki has the form, sounds in a more positive mind set and will be a strong favourite after having winning 24 of her past 26 matches. However, it always ALL about who can perform on the day and overcome the mental challenges and pressure of the situation. Watch as the play for a major title , 350,000 US dollars in prize money and 900 WTA ranking points. Prediction: Dementieva 7-5 in the final set – play ball!!!
Stay tuned to this tennis website for full coverage of every Grand Slam tournament and every major women’s and men’s tennis tournament on the WTA Tour and ATP Tours. Click this link for further details about the Japan Open including the schedule of play -> Japan Open 2010: September 24-October 2.
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