After clashing for the first time two weeks ago in Auckland, Caroline Wozniacki and rising star Taylor Townsend will meet once again, this time in the opening round of the Australian Open in Melbourne. Their first meeting was a straightforward affair, but Townsend only got better as the match went on, giving off the impression that she may be more competitive in future encounters. Given the stage they are on, it will be interesting to see if the young American can overturn Wozniacki’s 1-0 head-to-head lead.
While Wozniacki started the season in promising fashion, as she worked her way to the final of the ASB Classic in Auckland, she was unable to toppled former world No. 1 Venus Williams. The American put on a vintage performance to defeat the Danish star 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. Afterwards, Wozniacki headed to Sydney, where she promptly retired from her opening round match against Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova after injuring her wrist in the opening set.
“I just felt like it was getting a little worse, so I felt like I wasn’t going to win the match without being able to hit like a proper backhand. I can only make it worse, and that’s really too negative. I thought it was better to get treatment and see what’s happening.”
While the injury was a setback, Wozniacki does not it to impact her performances at the Aussie Open.
“I just need to take it day by day and see how it feels. Hopefully it’ll take a couple of days and it’ll be fine.”
Wozniacki will need to be fit and healthy, as her opening match at the Happy Slam is against hungry prospect Taylor Townsend. The first of Townsend’s two matches so far this season took place in Auckland, where she upset former champion Yanina Wickmayer in the first round of the tournament. The wildcard entrant proved worthy of the tournament’s faith in her and dispatched her opponent in three sets, 7-5, 3-6, 6-0 to set up a second round clash with the top seed. However, she ran into Wozniacki in the second round and fell to the former No. 1 in straight sets.
Now, just two weeks after their only previous meeting, Wozniacki and Townsend will cross paths once more, this time with higher stakes in play. A win for the American here would be a massive breakthrough and upset early in the tournament. The pressure will be on Wozniacki to make sure she is fit and denies Townsend the upset.
Prediction: Caroline Wozniacki in Three Sets