Caroline Wozniacki will aim to celebrate her return to the top of the world rankings by winning her first title of the year today. The 20-year-old Dane, who will reclaim the world No 1 spot from Kim Clijsters in tomorrow's updated list, meets Svetlana Kuznetsova here in the final of the Dubai Championships.
Wozniacki's ability to keep making her opponent play the extra ball was crucial in her 7-5 6-3 semi-final victory yesterday over Jelena Jankovic. Despite losing the first three games, Wozniacki quickly settled into her stride and eventually wore down Jankovic, who had been on court for nearly three hours the previous evening in beating Sam Stosur.
The turning point came when Jankovic, serving at 5-3 and 40-0, scorned four set points. The Serb lost five games in a row as Wozniacki assumed command. Jankovic faded towards the end of the second set and was broken to love in the final game.
"I'm a little bit exhausted," Jankovic admitted. "The last couple of days took a lot out of me." Wozniacki said: "She started off well and I made a few mistakes, but then I actually felt like I started to hitthe ball really well."
Kuznetsova, who has slipped to No 23 in the world rankings, reached her first final for more than six months by beating Flavia Pennetta 6-4 6-4.