Australian Open tennis: Caroline Wozniacki, Elina Svitolina cruise into second round
Caroline Wozniacki got the better of Mihaela Buzarnescu in straight sets to advance into the second round of the Australian Open tennis tournament.tennis Updated: Jan 15, 2018 16:41 IST
Caroline Wozniacki kept her quest for a first Grand Slam title on course at the Australian Open tennis on Monday, cruising into the second round in straight sets.
On a day when a host of big names went tumbling, the second seeded Dane overcame tricky Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-2, 6-3 on Margaret Court Arena in an hour and 11 minutes.
She will next play either Japan’s Misa Eguchi or Croatia’s Jana Fett.
It had looked plain sailing for the woman who won the prestigious season-ending WTA Tour championships in Singapore when she raced through the first set in just 29 minutes and then took a 2-0 lead in the second.
But the 44th-ranked left-hander Buzarnescu, sporting a heavily taped shoulder, would not lie down and broke Wozniacki twice to lead 3-2.
Undaunted, the experienced Wozniacki, who first rose to world number one in 2010, reasserted her dominance, taking four games in a row to close out with a cry of “come on”.
“I knew it as going to be tough and I had to try to fight for every point,” said Wozniacki, who played an almost flawless match with just five unforced errors to her opponent’s 33.
“We know each other very well as we played each other like a million times in the juniors,” she said of Buzarnescu, who made her first WTA final appearance last week in Hobart.
“I knew she would be a dangerous floater.”
Earlier in the day fifth seed Venus Williams, 10th seed CoCo Vandeweghe and 13th seed and reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens all made early exits, throwing Wozniacki’s side of the draw wide open.
Fourth seed Elina Svitolina stormed into the Australian Open second round with a 6-3, 6-2 defeat of Serbian qualifier Ivana Jorovic.
The Ukrainian only stuttered slightly once the finish line was in sight, squandering four match points at 5-2 before closing out when a powerful forehand drive forced her opponent to hit wide after 72 minutes.
She will next face Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic who overcame Greece’s Maria Sakkari 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-4.
Svitolina came into the first Grand Slam of the year in top form after winning the Brisbane International warm-up event after picking up five WTA Tour titles last year, more than any other woman.
And she will fancy her chances of picking up a first career Grand Slam title after her half of the draw saw a slew of top names go out on a calamitous day for America’s top women in Melbourne.
Fifth seed Venus Williams, 10th seed CoCo Vandeweghe and 13th seed and reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens all made early exits.