Three more times in Game 12, Wozniacki was one point away, Cetkovska hitting forehand winners each time, before dominating the breaker with a couple of more crackling forehands, and a deft backhand pass. With the third round looming on the horizon, Wozniacki’s push to victory would be to her own doing.
Cetkovska, ranked 149th in the world, has never been past the fourth round of a major tournament and has endured a serious hip injury, for which she had an operation in September previous year. In a flawless performance in the tenth, Cetkovska won her first love service putting Wozniacki in big trouble.
Wozniacki’s loss leaves just three top 10 seeds left in the tournament – Williams, No. 2 Simona Halep and fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova – after four days of action.
Wozniacki lost eight out of nine games in the early stages but came from behind to win the second set and take the match into a decider. “She had nothing to lose and went for her shots”.
Petra Cetkovska has eliminated Caroline Wozniacki from a grand slam for the second time in her career, with the Czech prevailing in a thriller at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“Caroline’s got as good a shot as anyone”.
But Wozniacki made her way back into it, helped by Cetkovska’s seeming inability to play well with the lead.
At 4-5 in the final set Cetkovska saved a match point with a beautifully constructed point.
“Those first months it was extremely hard”, she said.
Maybe that’s because she doesn’t have a whole lot of experience winning lately.
Wozniacki failed to win a point on her serve throughout the tie-break as Cetkovska swarmed around the court, with the latter moving 5-1 ahead with a backhand down the line after a net cord left her scrambling.
“I was trying to keep playing”. “With all the things that happen now in the world, I’m imagining, ‘Okay, it’s a bomb.’ That was my first reaction”.
The game went to a one all tie when all of the sudden her charge paid off massively. It did not make it there as Cetkovska added another point to play for the match.
“I said it’s now or never”, Cetkovska said on the court after the win.
It was a back-and-forth match that began under the lights and seesawed wildly for 3 hours, 2 minutes, until it finished after midnight as Thursday turned to Friday.
That’s when Wozniacki finally seemed to find her game. Her tenacity of making it into the third round for the first time was one that paid off after three tries at it in the past.
“I don’t even know (how I did it)”, said Cetkovska, who needed a medical exception just to get in the Open field, and hadn’t even won a tour-level match this year until she beat Christina McHale in the first round here.