Match Preview: Caroline Wozniacki v Annika Beck

This will be the night match at the Volvo Car Open as Wozniacki is playing her first match since falling in the Miami Open final. Beck made it through to the second round after her opponent, Louisa Chirico, retired with a back injury. Wozniacki is coming in to the encounter against Beck as the bookie’s heavy favourite to come out on top.

Recent Form

Wozniacki has had a fabulous start to the season and she is ranked 3 in the Road to Singapore at the moment. Although Wozniacki isn’t getting as noticed as Pliskova and the Williams sisters she is doing better than two of them at the moment and that is surely giving her a lot of confidence. Her great run started in the middle east when she made back-to-back finals in the Premier and Premier 5 events in Doha and Dubai respectively. She fell to Karolina Pliskova in Doha and then to young gun Elina Svitolina in Dubai, both in straight sets. After falling to Kristina Mladenovic in the quarterfinals of Indian Wells she fell to Johanna Konta in the Miami Open final, so it has been a VERY successful year so far, to say the least. Annika Beck hasn’t been having anywhere near as much fun as the Dane after going winless in Australia. She failed to qualify for Doha and then fell first round of Acapulco and Miami. She did reach the second round in Indian Wells and her best result this year was the Budapest quarterfinals. I believe that this will make an impact on the match as they are both at different ends of the confidence spectrum.

Charleston Record

Caroline Wozniacki has played on the green clay four times in her career, between 2009 and 2013. Her best result came in 2012 when she won the title after beating Elena Vesnina in the final and her worst result came in 2013 when she fell in the quarterfinals to Stefanie Voegele. The other two times she’s played she’s reached a semifinal and a final, which means that she is comfortable and confident when she plays on the green clay in Charleston. Annika Beck has never played this tournament before but from what she played of her opener she looked like she was striking the ball well on the clay.

Head to Head Record

These two women have played each other twice before, Caroline Wozniacki coming out victorious both times in straight sets. The thing that might make Beck feel better is that they have never played on clay against each other before so it is a new experience. Their first meeting was in 2013 on the hard court, when they played the final of Luxembourg, Woznaicki was very impressive and she won 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and fourteen minutes. Their last meeting was in 2014 and also on the hard court, in the third round of Dubai, which Wozniacki won 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and fifty-seix minutes. I think that Wozniacki will have this on her mind as she plays the match and it will give her confidence throughout the encounter.

Prediction

Wozniacki will come out feeling loose, calm and relaxed which will give her the ability to easily hit through the ball and that will propel her, along with Beck’s nerves, to only drop two return games on the way to taking the first set 6-2. Beck won’t be able to control her anxiety over losing the first set and her level will drop for the second set, resulting in a lot more unforced errors from the German. Wozniacki will race to a 4-0 or 5–0 lead in the second set but from there she will tense and tighten up and Beck will be able to take advantage of that. She will be able to take one or two breaks to get within reach at 5-3 down but from there, Wozniacki will have some time to regroup and refresh. Wozniacki will come out to serve or return feeling confident and she will take the game quite easily to take the 6-2, 6-3 match and go into the third round.

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