(3) Caroline Wozniacki vs (15) Alize Cornet
Wednesday’s eighth and final third round match from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships sees third seed: Caroline Wozniacki take on last years finalist, Alize Cornet. This promises to be an almighty battle between two supreme competitors, neither will give much away so we can expect some long, grueling rallies.
After receiving a bye into the second round, Caroline Wozniacki opened her 2015 Dubai campaign with an extremely hard fought 4-6 6-1 7-5 victory over Samantha Stosur. After dropping a tight opening set, Caroline called to see the trainer, complaining that she felt dizzy and had a headache she also had her left knee strapped.
Wozniacki rebounded strongly, stunning Stosur by taking the first five games of the second set. The Dane carried her momentum into the deciding set where she raced away to a 5-2 lead, however Wozniacki would twice fail to serve out the match as Stosur fought back to 5-5. Wozniacki looked exhausted at this stage but somehow clicked into another gear to complete an impressive victory in just under 3 hours of play.
Alize Cornet has also endured a tough passage through to the third round in Dubai. The 2014 finalist battled past Kirsten Flipkens 6-0 6-7 6-3 in three hours and ten minutes in her opening round match in Dubai. Alize let out an almighty roar after the match, clearly the victory meant a lot to the frenchwoman who loves playing in Dubai.
Alize backed up her marathon victory over Fliipkens with a much more conventional 6-2 6-4 victory over Cagla Buyukakcay. Alize fell behind an early break in the second set, but importantly won four straight games to close out the match in straight sets.
Caroline Wozniacki holds a dominant 5-1 head to head record over Alize Cornet. The two haven’t play each other in almost two years, their most recent match was at Indian Wells back in 2013, Wozniacki coming out on top 6-4 4-6 6-3. Alize Cornet’s lone victory over the Dane was all the way back in 2007 in the second round of the US Open.
Despite the lopsided head to head record between the two, I like Alize’s chances in this match. Alize loves playing in Dubai, she famously defeated Serena Williams last year on route to the final. Despite eventually prevailing against Sam Stosur, Caroline did look quite unwell throughout most of the match and it will be difficult for her to recover from such a gruelling battle. The scene is set for this one to go the distance, I think Alize will show her fighting qualities and outlast Wozniacki.
Prediction: Alize Cornet to defeat Caroline Wozniacki in three sets