Dubai: Former Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open champion and one-time world number one Caroline Wozniacki cruised into the second round of the tournament after an impressive display on Tuesday night at the Dubai Tennis Stadium.
Wozniacki, who won here as the top seed in 2011, prevailed 6-2, 6-2 over Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic in exactly one hour. Earlier, fifth seed Sara Errani, of Italy, and sixth seed Petra Kvitova, of the Czech Republic, had both booked their places in the second round in contrasting fashion.
Errani was made to work hard before winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 against Germany’s Julia Goerges, while Kvitova powered her way to an easy 6-2, 6-1 win over Slovakian qualifier Daniela Hantuchova.
Slipping to No.10 in the WTA Rankings this week, Wozniacki was in control throughout during the 60 minutes spent on court against an erratic opponent. Though not perfect in the construction of her points, the former world number one from Denmark did well to mix up her game.
A couple of breaks early on were enough for her to take the opening set 6-2 in exactly half an hour. Wozniacki maintained her dominance in the second set and she secured the win when Safarova hit a forehand long to hand the Dane a second career win against the Czech after four meetings.
Wozniacki now takes on qualifier Jie Zheng after the Chinese player defeated Urszula Radwanska, younger sister of defending champion Agnieszka, in three sets. “I didn’t feel well on the court at all today. I was just making way too many mistakes, and I could not get into the rhythm,” the player the Dane beat, Safarova, said later.
Meanwhile, Roberta Vinci became the second Italian to make it through to the next stage when she overcame qualifier and two-time Grand Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-2. Vinci will now meet fourth seed Angelique Kerber in the second round on Wednesday.
Kuznetsova, a one-time losing finalist in Dubai, had to go through the qualifying rounds on Saturday and Sunday. “It can get tough to go through qualifying for someone like me. I played three matches in Doha and then had a completely different schedule in qualifying here as I had to play in the mornings. That’s kind of tough, but there is hardly anything I can do about it. I think I am happy with where I am at this moment,” Kuznetsova said.
The second-round matches on Saturday will start at 2pm on centre court with Yulia Putintseva taking on defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska.