Singapore - A raging Caroline Wozniacki has stunned Maria Sharapova in a marathon
three-setter at the WTA Finals on Tuesday despite mid-match outbursts
over faulty stadium lighting and an errant line call.
edged a thrilling encounter 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (5/7), 6-2 in Singapore as
she dented Sharapova's hopes of overtaking Serena Williams to be crowned
the year-end world number one.
"It was a great match, it's always
tough to play the first time and get into the rhythm," said the eighth
seed. "I'm just so happy to be through."
Wozniacki edged a tight
first set before threatening to halt play in the second when stadium
spotlights started sweeping the crowd during a point and shone in her
eyes while serving.
She then blew up over a line call and lost the
second set, before finally clinching the match in three hours, 13
minutes -- one of the longest of the season, and 16 minutes short of the
Wozniacki's second straight win over Sharapova
underlines her strong finish to a year which has had peaks as well as
troughs, including her US Open runner-up finish and break-up with golfer
Sharapova needs to win her remaining round robin
matches and reach the final of the year-ending tournament to have any
chance of knocking Williams off the top spot in the season's final
The world number two was broken in her first service
game before she clawed it back and served for the opening set -- only to
double-fault twice as she was broken for a second time.
bravely saved a set point at 5-6 down when she picked out the right
tramline with a pinpoint forehand. But Wozniacki then reeled off five
straight points to win the tiebreaker 7/4.
Wozniacki also broke
immediately in set two but there was controversy in the sixth game when
she stopped playing and raised her arms in disbelief when flashing
stadium lights disrupted her concentration.
In a long exchange
with the chair umpire, Wozniacki threatened to stop playing until the
problem was fixed and when she resumed, she was broken for 3-3 and
smacked the ball away in frustration.
The Dane snatched back a
break in the next game and she then served for the match, but Sharapova
broke at the critical juncture to keep the encounter alive.
was again incensed and she smashed her racquet on the net when, without
any challenges left at 5-6 down, a clear wide shot was missed by the
line judge giving Sharapova set point.
sarcastically at the line judge when she eventually saved her service
game and forced the tiebreak -- which Sharapova led throughout to force
the decider 7/5.
But as the match ticked past three hours, the
Dane was not discouraged by the setback and she again broke at the first
attempt and once more for 4-2 before sealing it on her first match
Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was taking on Agnieszka
Radwanska in Tuesday's second match in White Group. The eight-player
season finale, being played in Asia for the first time, concludes on