Wozniacki Loses First Match Since Australian Open Despite Winning First Set

Wozniacki Loses First Match Since Australian Open Despite Winning First Set

by Jordan Reynolds

Last updated

Caroline Wozniacki's return to the court ended in a disappointing defeat to Anna Blinkova at the San Diego Open.

Wozniacki had previously not competed since the Australian Open, when she lost in the second round in three sets to Maria Timofeeva. The Dane elected to skip the entire Middle East swing and prioritize US tournaments instead.

After Wozniacki was given a wildcard for the San Diego Open, she had a chance to try and make a perfect start against Anna Blinkova, who played one of the greatest WTA tiebreaks ever during her win against Elena Rybakina at the 2024 Australian Open.

Blinkova was certainly expected to be a tough opponent. Her aggressive style is capable of causing top players trouble when it is firing, as she proved by beating Rybakina in such a stunning manner.

Wozniacki has had good success against players with that style on hard courts in the past by soaking up the pace effectively from the baseline. That was what she did in the opening set before it began to go badly wrong.

The 2018 Australian Open champion drew many errors from Blinkova's racket in the opening set. She was not hitting many winners herself, but that did not matter at this stage of the contest.

Wozniacki comprehensively won the opening set 6-1. She then got an early break in the second set. It seemed like the match was about to end very quickly in favor of the Dane.

The momentum of the match then suddenly shifted. Blinkova started to reduce the number of errors coming from her racket, and Wozniacki had no answer to this increased pressure from her opponent. Blinkova claimed the set 6-4.

It seemed like normal service may be resumed when Wozniacki broke in the opening game of the deciding set. However, from that point on, the Dane was utterly dominated and struggled very badly throughout the rest of the match.

Blinkova reeled off six consecutive games to seal a 1-6 6-4 6-1 victory. Wozniacki has a wildcard for the Indian Wells Open, and that will be her next tournament. She will undoubtedly need to play better than this match to have a chance of a good run there.


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