Wozniacki finally finds footing on Canadian hardcourts
Montreal: World number two Caroline Wozniacki recorded her first ever win on Canadian hardcourts to reach the third round of the Montreal Cup with a 7-5, 7-5 win over plucky Swiss Patty Schnyder on Wednesday.
While Wozniacki has enjoyed success on American hardcourts, reaching the final of the 2009 US Open, the Dane had struggled to find her footing on the pavement north of the border as she failed to win a match in two previous visits.
The 31-year-old Swiss, who once featured routinely among the world`s top 10 but has seen her ranking dip to number 52, provided the statuesque Dane with a stern one hour, 40 minute workout.
Wozniacki`s fan club was out in full force for her opening match, a line of shirtless young men each with a letter of her name painted on their bare chests, taking up position in the front. Despite her unsteady start, her supporters found plenty of reasons to cheer.
Twice in the opening set Wozniacki broke Schnyder only to allow the Swiss lucky loser to immediately break back.
But the 20-year-old Dane held her nerve when it mattered most breaking Schnyder at 6-5 in both sets to clinch victory.
Former-world number one Dinara Safina displayed promising signs that the back problems that have plagued her for a year may finally be over as the Russian battled to a 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 win over compatriot Nadia Petrova.
The victory marked the first time since the Australian Open that Safina has won back-to-back matches.
Back on the Montreal hardcouts for the first time since winning the title in 2008, Safina has seem her ranking dive from number one to 70.
Italian sixth seed Francesca Schiavone took her place in the third round with a 6-4, 6-7, 6-2 win over Russian qualifier Ekaterina Makarova while seventh seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland romped to a 6-0, 6-3 win over American Vania King, who has won just two matches since the French Open.
Fifteenth seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy culled another Russian from the field, easing past Alisa Kleybanova 6-3 6-3 while Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli had easy passage after 39-year-old Kimiko Date Krumm of Japan pulled out of the tournament with a strained thigh muscle.