Wozniacki continues march in Auckland

Source:Reuters Published: 2018/1/3 22:48:40

Danish star satisfied with the way she is fine-tuning ahead of Aussie Open

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark plays a forehand in her match against Petra Martic of Croatia on Wednesday in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: VCG

Caroline Wozniacki continued to build on her WTA Finals victory late last year with another impressive performance on her way to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Croatia's Petra Martic to reach the quarterfinals of the Auckland Classic on Wednesday.

The Danish world No.3 ended 2017 with the biggest title of her career in Singapore and returned a day after thrashing Madison Brengle in her season opener to hit 21 winners against eight unforced errors in the 53-minute win over Martic.

"I'm trying to stay aggressive," Wozniacki said in a court-side interview. "I still made some unforced errors. It's taking a few matches to play like 100 percent but I still felt I played pretty well today."

Top seed Wozniacki started brightly with a break of serve to love on her way to an early 3-0 lead, and added another break in the eighth game to wrap up the opening set in just 24 minutes on a ­glorious day in New Zealand's largest city.

Martic tried to mount a comeback early in the second set when she broke for a 2-0 lead but Wozniacki won the ­final six games behind impressive serving numbers, including six aces, to book a last-eight encounter with young American Sofia Kenin.

"I've worked on everything I need to work on in the off-season," Wozniacki added as she continues her preparations for the Australian Open starting in Melbourne on January 15.

"Now it's just a matter of working out how to incorporate that into your match or into a situation where you maybe get nervous."

Kenin, a 19-year-old wild card, knocked out compatriot Varvara Lepchenko 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) earlier in the day, and there were also victories for Chinese Taipei's Hsieh Su-wei and Czech Barbora Strycova.

Hsieh recorded a 6-4, 6-3 triumph over Belgian qualifier Ysaline Bonaventure to set up a quarterfinal clash against Strycova after the third-seeded Czech edged out Sweden's Johanna Larsson 6-1, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2.

In the late matches, second-seeded German Julia Goerges eased to a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Slovakia's Viktoria Kuzmova to book a last-eight tie against Slovenia's Polona Hercog, who was almost as ruthless in a 6-4, 6-2 win over Kirsten Flipkens.

Former world No.2 Agnieszka Radwanska continued her strong start to the campaign with a 6-3, 7-5 win over American Taylor Townsend, the Pole holding her nerve in a tight second set that lasted more than an hour to advance.

Fourth seed Radwanska, who remains on a collision course for a semifinal against Wozniacki, next faces American qualifier Sachia Vickery, who defeated Paraguay's Veronica Cepede Royg 6-2, 6-4.

Posted in: TENNIS

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