In her only previous appearance at the Malaysian Open two years ago, Caroline Wozniacki suffered a surprising upset in the opening round of the tournament. Over 700 days later, the Dane returned to Kuala Lumpur and kicked off her campaign in solid fashion. Through to the second round of the tournament, Wozniacki will come up against Lin Zhu, whom she has never faced previously on the professional tour.
The tournament’s top seed commenced her week in Malaysia with a rapid-fire victory over a Chinese qualifier. She defeated Yafan Wang 6-3, 6-1 in 1 hour and 14 minutes to advance to the following stage of the event. While she struck no aces, the Dane hit 73% of her first service points and saved 3 of 4 break points to earn the victory in a lopsided manner.
“I didn’t do so well when I was here last time, so I’m happy to get my first win in Malaysia. The first match of any tournament is always tough and I’m just happy to be through,” Wozniacki said.
In a more difficult opening round match-up, Lin Zhu ousted Yuliya Beygeizimer in three sets 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to advance to her second round meeting with Wozniacki. She struck 3 aces, won 67% of her first service points and converted seven breaks of serve to close out the match in 2 hours and 5 minutes.
This is just the first time that Wozniacki and Zhu will cross paths on the WTA tour. The Dane, who is positioned as the top seed of the tournament, will likely live up to her billing and will continue her dominant run through the draw. While first-time opponent and relative unknowns could always pose an unlikely threat to Top 10 players, Wozniacki should be able to advance in straight sets relatively unscathed.
Prediction: Caroline Wozniacki in Straight Sets