Caroline Wozniacki starts chase of top ranking with win in Madrid
Caroline Wozniacki’s quest to return to world number one at the Madrid Open began with a comfortable 6-3 6-1 victory over Daria Gavrilova on Sunday.
Wozniacki will reclaim the top ranking - at the expense of Simona Halep - if she claims the title in the Spanish capital, and she made a solid start in the first round.
After a string of captivating baseline rallies early in the clash, Wozniacki began to take control with her high intensity game and pinpoint groundstrokes.
Gavrilova’s forehand threatened to cause an upset as she pierced the Wozniacki defence at times, However, a succession of unforced errors - particularly on serve - cost the Australian.
Seven double faults blighted her performance and gifted the Australian Open champion too many free points.
A wayward Gavrilova forehand opened the door for Wozniacki in the eighth game and she duly made no mistake in serving out the set inside 40 minutes.
The second set was much more straightforward for the Dane as Gavrilova’s mistakes became increasingly frequent, Wozniacki controlling proceedings from the middle of the court.
Her full array of shots was on show, much to the ire of her opponent, Wozniacki mixing up her game beautifully as she raced into a 4-0 lead.
Gavrilova was able to avoid a bagel but was never close to avoiding defeat and a 27th unforced error gave Wozniacki her victory.