I just hate to lose, says under-fire Wozniacki

There is no closely guarded secret to Caroline Wozniacki's grit, no private belief she clings to in moments of despair on a tennis court.

The reason for her dogged determination is as prosaic as they come: “I hate losing.”
The Dane issued that matter-of-fact explanation after narrowly avoiding a shock defeat at the Sydney International on Tuesday, a defeat which would have deprived the tennis world of an expected shoot-out with Petra Kvitova for the world number one ranking.

The Sydney International is being billed as a battle for the top spot currently held by Denmark's Wozniacki.

The Czech Republic's world number two Kvitova will overtake Wozniacki if she wins the final on Ken Rosewall Arena on Friday night but the script very nearly went out the window when both players were staring at unexpected losses in blustery, hot conditions at the Sydney Olympic Tennis Centre.

Wozniacki trailed 4-0 in the final set against Slovakia's world number 18 Dominika Cibulkova before peeling off six straight games to record a determined if unconvincing 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 victory.

“I hate losing,” Wozniacki said bluntly afterwards. “That's what I put it down to. I just hate to lose. I always do everything I can to win a game. I want to stand in the end as the winner having won the last point.”

Wozniacki snuck into a quarterfinal against Agnieszka Radwanska. Poland's world number eight edged German world number 10 Andrea Petkovic 7-5, 6-4.

Kvitova, an asthma sufferer, appeared fatigued and breathless in the stifling conditions but held on for a 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 win against Romania's world number 66 Alexandra Dulgheru.

“It's my first match of the tournament and my first match outdoors this year,” Kvitova said.

“I have to get used to these conditions with the wind and the sun. I still have a long way to go. I lost to Alexandra at the US Open and that was a little bit in my head. I really need these matches before Melbourne.”

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