SPO_230831 WOZNIACKI-1693480602146
Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki reacts after wining a point won against Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova during the US Open second round. Image Credit: AFP

New York: Caroline Wozniacki claimed the biggest win of her comeback and a spot in the third round of the US Open on Wednesday as the Dane’s Grand Slam adventure continued with an 7-5, 7-6(5) upset of 11th seed Petra Kvitova.

Twice a finalist at Flushing Meadows, Wozniacki was back on the stage she has graced so many times against a familiar foe in front of an adoring crowd under the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights.

Having retired in 2020 to raise a family and playing in just her third event since returning to action Wozniacki turned back the clock to come out on top in the battle of 33-year-old Grand Slam champions.

Comfortable place

“I’ve been feeling very comfortable here in New York in general,” said Wozniacki. “Ever since I arrived here, it’s just something about the courts, everything else, that have made me feel good.

“I’m just so thrilled to have an opportunity to play out on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“Three years ago if you’d asked me, I didn’t think I was ever going to play on one of those courts again in the US Open, especially a night session.

Incredible feeling

“It just feels pretty incredible to be out there and winning a match like that.”

The last time Wozniacki beat a top 20 ranked opponent was at the 2018 WTA Finals when she took down then world No 5 Kvitova.

Five years later, their 15th meeting ended with the same outcome.

The match did not start well for Wozniacki as Kvitova broke her to open the contest. But the Dane hit back immediately with a break of her own and then clinched the first set with another break.

SPO_230831 WOZNIACKI1-1693480604531
Wozniacki is reliving old magic after stunning 11th Petra Kvitova in the second round at Flushing Meadows. Image Credit: AFP

Kvitova was never going to outwork the Dane, who endeared herself to New Yorkers by returning to the city to run the marathon, but the Czech had other weapons including a willingness to go for the big shot.

Decisive break

Wozniacki showed that she still possesses some firepower and used it to blast back-to-back aces to secure a decisive break to seal the first set.

The play remained just as tight in the second with Kvitova serving to stay in the contest at 5-5, fighting off two match points to send the set to a tiebreak.

But Wozniacki would not be denied, clinching the tiebreak 7-5 when the Czech’s desperate forehand sailed long.