Wozniacki caps dominant week

Caroline Wozniacki celebrates her third WTA title of the season in Montreal on Monday. (QMI...

Caroline Wozniacki celebrates her third WTA title of the season in Montreal on Monday. (QMI Agency/Eric Bolte)

BRIAN DALY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:27 PM ET

MONTREAL - The sun finally showed up at the $2 million Rogers Cup, and Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki took full advantage.

The 20-year-old beat Russia's Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-2 to take the title and the $350,000 top prize in front of 9,500 fans at Uniprix Stadium.

The World No. 2 showed great power and control when she built a lead and incredible resilience when she fell behind. She saved seven out of eight break points for the match. Both women were forced to play the semifinal and the final within a three-hour span Monday after steady rain made it impossible to complete matches on the weekend. But the stands at centre court were mostly full Monday despite the delays.

"I'm just proud that I won two matches today," said Wozniacki, who only lost one set in her five matches. "It's an unbelievable feeling standing here for the first time in Montreal, winning the tournament."

Wozniacki will enter next week's U.S. Open as the No. 1 seed, though Serena Williams will remain No. 1 in the WTA world rankings. Williams recently announced she won't play in the season's final Grand Slam due to injury, and Wozniacki says the win in Montreal gives her great momentum heading into New York.

"It's an unbelievable boost. I feel confident, I feel like I played some great tennis this week."

Wozniak's serve and groundstrokes were strong throughout. She built a 4-1 first-set lead by keeping Zvonareva off-balance with a powerful forehand while benefiting from a number of unforced errors by her Russian opponent.

Wozniacki built a 4-1 first-set lead but Zvonareva did mount a comeback, winning two out of three games to pull to within 5-3. She then built a love-40 lead in the ninth game on an unforced error by Wozniacki that prompted her to throw down her racket in disgust.

Then she mounted her comeback, closing Zvonareva out in the final game of the set by winning five consecutive points.

Wozniacki built an insurmountable lead in the second set, breaking Zvonareva in the third game.

It's Wozniacki's third WTA title of the season, following wins at Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and her home tournament in Copenhagen. The win evens up her record against Zvonareva to 2-2 lifetime.

Zvonareva says she had trouble maintaing her concentration following the rain delays.

"I think it's been tough for all of us waiting here on the weekend," said Zvonareva, the world's No. 11 player, who added that playing her semi-final on the side court didn't help.

"Today in the final I felt it was a different court, different conditions, and I tried my best. Today maybe it wasn't good enough against Caroline."

It was only the third time since 1981 that a Rogers Cup men's or women's final had been rained out until Monday.

The four semifinalists found themselves killing time by playing pool and video games, and Wozniacki emerged the freshest. She beat Zvonareva following a dominant semifinal performance against Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova. The Dane had the edge in every statistical category to triumph 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinal at centre court.

Wozniacki, ranked No. 2 in the world, broke Kuznetsova twice while denying both of her opponent's break opportunities. She now has a 3-2 edge over Kuznetsova in career head-to-heads.

The Wozniacki-Kuznetsova match began on Saturday, but was halted after just two games due to rain. Several weekend attempts to resume the match and to start the other semifinal failed.

The second match finally got underway Monday morning at National Bank court where Zvonareva won 7-6, 1-0 after Victoria Azarenka of Belarus retired with a left foot blister.

Azarenka, who was seeded No. 10, says she first noticed the blister in warmups, and doesn't understand how it got there.

"I'm surprised I could get a blister from sitting on my ass for two days," she deadpanned afterwards, though she was earlier seen in tears at courtside when it became clear she couldn't continue.

NOTES: Organizers said final paid attendance for the 11-day event was 172,119. That's down from the 174,189 who paid to see the women in Montreal in 2008 but tournament director Eugene Lapierre says the weather definitely played a factor.

"It's a good (attendance) number, all things considered," he told reporters.

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Tournament organizers are offering make-up tickets for fans who couldn't attend the semifinals on Monday, though they'll have to wait two years to benefit. Spectators will be offered semifinal tickets to the 2012 Rogers Cup, which is the next time the women will be in Montreal. They'll also get complimentary additional tickets for early-week sessions.

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Both the men and the women's Rogers Cups will be held during the same week next year, with the men coming to Montreal while the women are in Toronto.

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A $13 million expansion and renovation project will get underway in mid-October at Uniprix Stadium and the national tennis training centre next door. There will be four new indoor clay courts, new locker rooms and office space. There will also be a new press gallery at the stadium.


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