Australian Open

Wozniacki cruises into second round

2018-01-15 11:43
Caroline Wozniacki (Getty)

Melbourne -Caroline Wozniacki said she was "happy to be through" as she kept her quest for a first Grand Slam title on course at the Australian Open on Monday.

On a day when a host of big names went tumbling, the second seed cruised past "tricky" Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-2, 6-3 on Margaret Court Arena in an hour and 11 minutes.

It had looked plain sailing for the Dane 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 in the first-round encounter and broke Wozniacki twice to lead briefly at 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 snuff out Buzarnescu's resistance with a cry of "come on".

"I knew it was going to be tough and I had to try to fight for every point," said Wozniacki, who played an impressive, 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'm happy to be through. It was not an easy match. Maybe on paper it looks easy, but it wasn't. (She's a) tricky lefty opponent with a lot of confidence.

"I think it's a good start. Hopefully I can progress from here," said the player who is riding high again after reaching eight finals last year. 

She can reclaim the top ranking with a deep run at the season's first Grand Slam.

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.

"I never look at the draw, to be honest," Wozniacki told AFP. "I saw a couple of results. But, yeah, I don't really follow too much, to be honest."

Wozniacki was informed by reporters she will next play Croatia's Jana Fett, the world 119 who enjoyed a run to the semi-finals at Hobart last week and beat Japan's Misa Eguchi 6-3, 6-2.

Wozniacki admitted she knew little about her.

"I've never played her before. I guess I'll have to do some scouting and see how she's playing," Wozniacki said.

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