Australian Open: Caroline Wozniacki survives Jelena Jankovic fightback
Caroline Wozniacki saw off a late fightback from former world No 1 Jelena Jankovic to ease into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open with a 6-0, 7-5 victory.
The top-seeded Dane cruised early but was made to work hard to close out the match in 103 minutes on a balmy evening at Rod Laver Arena. “My confidence is high, my fitness is good, I feel like my play is improving,” Wozniacki said in a courtside interview.
“I thought I played a great set and a half and then she started playing very well and got me back on my toes for a bit. I’m so happy to be through and, even though I know some of the crowd wanted a long match, I hope you’ll still support me.”
Up a set and coasting at 4-1 in the second, Wozniacki’s victory charge was stalled when Jankovic broke back twice to level at 5-5. But the world No 1 steadied by breaking the Serb again and sealed the match when Jankovic, who notched 50 unforced errors, sprayed a shot long.
The victory allowed Wozniacki to hold on to her top ranking for at least another few days. A number of contenders remain with a chance of swiping it should results go their way.
Wozniacki, bidding for her maiden grand slam title, has not dropped a set at Melbourne Park, but faces a far greater test against Kim Clijsters in the last eight. The four-times grand slam champion beat Wozniacki on both their previous meetings, the final of the 2009 US Open and the final of the 2010 Tour Championships.
Third-seed Victoria Azarenka had earlier become the first woman through to the last eight courtesy of a straight-sets win over Iveta Benesova. The Belarusian has yet to drop a set and was again impressive in beating Benesova 6-2 6-2 in 77 minutes.
She will next meet Agnieszka Radwanska, who strolled to a lop-sided 6-1 6-1 defeat of Julia Goerges. The Pole’s consistency proved key with just three unforced errors compared to 27 from Goerges.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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