French Open: Caroline Wozniacki confident as new coach joins team

Caroline Wozniacki: Looking forward to partnership with Thomas Johansson. Picture: Getty
Caroline Wozniacki: Looking forward to partnership with Thomas Johansson. Picture: Getty
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Former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki is confident her partnership with new coach Thomas Johansson will bear fruit.

The Dane was speaking after easing into the third round of the French Open with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Jarmila Gajdosova. Wozniacki is flying a bit under the radar at Roland Garros after a poor start to the year in which she has failed to win a title and has dropped to world No 9.

Johansson is not in Paris but will link up again with Wozniacki when she gets back home to Monaco, where they both live. The 21-year-old said: “I worked with him for a couple weeks before [the French Open], and he’s a great guy first of all. Also he lives just underneath me, which makes everything easy when you’re going to go for practice.

He’s played on the tour before. He’s won the Australian Open. He has the experience. He knows the women players because he’s been commentating.”

One benefit of Wozniacki’s slide down the rankings is she no longer has to justify her number one position without having won a grand slam. She said of her approach to the tournament: “I don’t think about the rankings. I think about this tournament that I’m playing. I’m going to give everything in this tournament and we’ll see how it goes. I’m happy that I’m healthy. That’s the main thing.”

Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova eased into the third round with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Urszula Radwanska. Kvitova had a stellar 2011, winning six titles, including on the grass of SW19 and at the season-ending WTA Championships, but, like Wozniacki, this year has been tougher for the Czech. Injury and illness have taken their toll and she is still looking for her first title having dropped to world number four, although so far at Roland Garros she has been exemplary.

Defending champion Li Na extended her record to only five games dropped in two rounds with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Stephanie Foretz Gacon, while the woman she beat in the final last year, Francesca Schiavone, recovered from losing the first set to beat Tsvetana Pironkova 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Two seeds were sent tumbling, Maria Kirilenko losing 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to Klara Zakopalova, while Jelena Jankovic was beaten 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 6-4 by Varvara Lepchenko. Tenth seed Angelique Kerber, who has made huge strides over the past year, saw off Olga Govortsova 6-3, 6-2, while Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Kaia Kanepi are also through.