Tennis: Wozniacki wins 4th consecutive New Haven tourney

AP, Sunday 28 Aug 2011

A little rain couldn't stop top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki from winning her fourth consecutive New Haven Open title in defeating Czech qualifier Petra Cetkovska 6-4, 6-1

Caroline Wozniacki

Wozniacki, the top seed at next week's U.S. Open, improved to 17-0 at the tournament.

"I just have a good momentum every time I play here," she said. "The balls are good. The tournament is nice. You always play better when you like to be around a tournament.

I'm really pleased to be in this situation _ win four straight times in a row, it's really unbelievable." Cetkovska, who is ranked 40th, had won seven consecutive matches since the start of qualifying. She beat fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, fourth-seeded Marion Bartoli and second-seeded Li Na. She couldn't stop Wozniacki.

"I'm really happy to be here, to go so long, so far in the tournament," Cetkovska said. "Now when we are in the final, we want to always go further. So obviously I wanted to try to win, to do even better. But today it was just a little bit too much. Caroline, she's just playing great." The final, brought forward four hours to avoid Hurricane Irene, was played outdoors at the Connecticut Tennis Center. It included a 1 hour, 40 minute rain delay in the first set. After the band of rain moved through the area, officials said they believed they would have a window of about 1½ hours for tennis.

Wozniacki's four consecutive championships ties the New Haven record set by Venus Williams from 1999 to 2002. This year, the tournament changed its name from the Pilot Pen and became a WTA-only event.

Wozniacki broke Cetkovska six times including the final game of the first set, and dominated the second set.

It was the Danish star's sixth tournament title this year, but the first since winning in Copenhagen in June. The 26-year-old Cetkovska was playing in her first WTA final.

Wozniacki's boyfriend, U.S. Open golf champion Rory McIlroy, spent the week with her on the Yale campus and watched the match from the player's box.

"When you have that little bit of confidence, that little bit of belief in yourself, it can take you a long way," he said after the match. "It looked like Caroline found that belief and confidence this week and it obviously is great prep going into the Open next week." The Danish star played with her right thigh wrapped, after feeling a twinge during Friday's semifinals. She said it would not affect her play at the Open, which is scheduled to start on Monday.

In case of high wind, tournament officials brought in cranes overnight to remove the two-ton scoreboards from the top of the stadium and replaced them with two smaller scoreboards courtside. They also made contingency plans to move the final from the stadium to the nearby indoor Cullman-Heyman tennis facility.

That facility was used in 2009 for several matches when the remnants of another hurricane hit the area.

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