Competing in the final tournament of her illustrious career, former champion, Caroline Wozniacki began her Australian Open campaign with a 6-1 6-3 victory over American, Kristie Ahn.
Wozniacki announced in November that she will retire from professional tennis after the 2020 Australian Open, and the former world No. 1 ensured that she will get to play at least one more match with Monday’s win over Ahn.
“I feel good having won my first match here,” Wozniacki said after the match. “You know, it’s always tricky, especially knowing it’s my last tournament. There’s a lot of just emotions, but I tried to keep them in check, and I thought I did that very well today.”
Wozniacki made an excellent start, breaking twice en route winning the first five games of the match. She raced through the first set in just 25 minutes, and while Ahn made it more of a contest in the second set, Wozniacki was always in control and in the lead, and the Dane eventually closed out the win after 85 minutes.
The first game of the second set was pivotal, with Wozniacki converting her ninth break point in the 20-minute game to grab the early break. Dane broke again for the 3-0 lead to tighten her grip on the match, and effectively break Ann’s resistance. The American underdog got one of the breaks back, but Wozniacki kept her opponent at arm’s length. The match was briefly delayed at 4-3 due to rain, but Wozniacki returned to clean up the match under the Melbourne Arena roof, winning the last two games to seal the win, and a spot in the second round.
It was a typically steady performance from the former champion, who hit seven winners and just 11 unforced errors. She was solid behind her serve, winning 70% of points on her first serve and 65% on her second. In contrast, she was all over Ahn’s second serve, reducing the American to just 7 of 27 points on her second offerings. Wozniacki carved out 15 break points in total, covering five of her opportunities.
“I think I’m just really trying to enjoy every moment. I don’t know that there is one particular moment, but there is once in a while, you’re, like, Wow, this really is my last one,” said Wozniacki.
“You never know, [the end], it’s still two weeks from now. But every match you go out there, I’m just going to give it everything that I have, because it could be the last”.
Not done yet!?? Moving on to round 2!? thanks for all the support❤️ pic.twitter.com/yWaodH33Sj
— Caroline Wozniacki (@CaroWozniacki) January 20, 2020
Melbourne will always occupy a special place in Wozniacki’s heart, as it was the scene of her first, and almost certainly, only Grand Slam triumph. Can she extend her stay, and her career even further by beating either Dayana Yastremska or Kaja Juvan in the second round?
“I have played Yastremska before. She plays very fast, tries to take the ball early. I have never played the other girl before. I’ll have to just study up a little bit on both of them.”