All eyes were on Centre Court as the singles final of The BMW Malaysian Open 2015 took place between top seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and World No 94 Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania. Less than 20 minutes into the game with the score tied at 1-1, the match was stopped because of rain.
Once the match resumed after slightly more than 2 hours, Dulgheru displayed true grit, sheer determination and fighting spirit which has been evident all throughout the competition, as she powered her way to take the first set 6-4. On her way the final, Dulgheru disposed of eighth seed Julia Goerges of Germany in the quarterfinals and fourth seed JarmilaGajdosova of Australia in the semi-final.
In the second set, Wozniacki raised the stakes, hitting hard and using her solid backhand groundstrokes among others to take the second set 6-2. In the third set, Wozniacki showed glimpses of some of her best tennis which made her World No 1 for 67 weeks. Wozniacki powered her way to a 5-0 lead before Dulgheru staged a late comeback.
But Wozniacki held serve and her grip on the match, taking the third set 6-1 to win the match and become the 2015 BMW Malaysian Open champion, her first title this year. Her last tournament victory was back in July last year when she won the Istanbul Cup in Turkey.
Wozniacki said, “It’s great to be back here and it’s great to win the tournament. Dulgheru was a worthy opponent and she played well throughout the match. Even though we played each other last week, today’s final was a totally different game. I kept playing my game and put pressure on her, making her run, and she did the same to me as well. I knew that eventually Dulgheru would get tired and she did. But I have to say well done to her for playing a good match and I wish her the best of luck.”
After the match, Dulgheru commented, “After playing a four hour semi-final yesterday, I was quite exhausted coming into the final. I was happy to be playing Wozniacki in the final, but I was just too tired. My game plan against Wozniacki was to attack her backhand and to move her around the court more, so that I could approach the net and play for every point that I could. But as the match got on, the exhaustion really sapped me. I had a bit of difficulty breathing, and I started getting a bit dizzy, but still I refused to call it quits. Wozniackirealised this and she capitalised on it, and I just could not match her as the match progressed.”
Dulgheru continued by saying, “’This tournament has been a great tournament for me, but the long matches and long hours of travelling here were not easy for me either. I like playing in the final and I like playing a top player like Wozniacki. But to play at the highest level it’s important to be fully charged, fit and healthy. I came here to play, and I managed to play well and enjoy my tennis. This has been my biggest achievement this year, so I hope to keep the momentum going and improve my game for more good results.”
Earlier on Centre Court in the doubles final, Ukrainian pair YuliyaBeygelzimer and Olga Savchuk came close but lost out to Chinese pair Liang Chen and Wang Yafan 4-6, 6-3 and 10-4 in the super tie breaker. This was Liang and Wang’s first title together and in Wang’s words, “We are thrilled and very happy to win this doubles title. Our hard work and concentration has paid off and we look forward to playing together as a doubles pair after this.”
The BMW Malaysian Open 2015 produced some of the best tennis action from some of the best players on the WTA Tour. Congratulations to singles champion Caroline Wozniacki and doubles champion Liang Chen and Wang Yafan who are worthy winners. As this year’s tournament draws to a close, next year’s BMW Malaysian Open promises to be an exciting tennis tournament not to be missed.