TOKYO – Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki recovered from a slow start to beat Elena Dementieva 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 in Saturday's final of the Pan Pacific Open.
Dementieva, who won here in 2006, raced to a 4-0 lead and won the first set when Wozniacki double-faulted. But the world No. 2 found her game in the second set and won the match when the Russian double-faulted in the final game.
"Elena was playing well in the first set, getting a lot of first shots in," Wozniacki said. "In the second set I really didn't have anything to lose so I just tried to get some more depth on the balls and make her run a little more."
The seventh-seeded Dementieva had a chance to keep the momentum in the second set when she was up 40-love in the third game, but Wozniacki fought back to break and take a 2-1 lead.
"That was an opportunity I didn't use," Dementieva said. "I had a chance on my serve at 40-love. I couldn't finish the game and she got back in the match."
Wozniacki can overtake Serena Williams as No. 1 in the world rankings if she reaches the quarterfinals or better at the China Open in Beijing next week.
"Being No. 1 has always been a goal of mine, but right now I am just focusing on winning the next tournament," Wozniacki said.
Wozniacki, who has won five WTA titles this year, improved to 4-3 against Dementieva who is 11th in the world.
The 20-year-old Dane said her level of fitness has helped improve her game.
"A few things have happened," Wozniacki said. "I've grown a bit. Not only physically but mentally as well and I feel I can beat anyone now."