World No.2 Caroline Wozniacki looks to continue her hunt for a first grand slam when she takes on Carla Suarez Navarro to close out the first day of quarter finals at the Australian Open. The winner will face either Elina Svitolina or Elise Mertens, who play earlier on in the day.
After she escaped a nailbiter in round two against Jana Fett, Wozniacki has had it much easier in the previous two rounds. A straight sets win over Kiki Bertens was followed up with an even easier win over Magdalena Rybarikova as she lost just 3 games against the Slovakian with her tricky game style not having the desired effect against Wozniacki. “I thought I played very well. I tried to stay aggressive. I got a lot of returns back, which I think for her was obviously something that she felt pressure on after a little bit.” she said. More impressively, she hit 25 winners in the dominant performance.
Since her Australian Open quarter final 2 years ago, Suarez Navarro was hitting a roadblock at the previous round – going 0-5 in fourth round matches at slams since then. It really should have been 0-6 as she trailed 4-6 1-4 against Anett Kontaveit and a break down in the third but she held tough while the Estonian wilted to end that run of losses. Suarez Navarro would not have been many people’s pick to advance to this stage with Jelena Ostapenko, CoCo Vandeweghe and the aforementioned Kontaveit amongst those in her section.
Wozniacki will be relieved to have avoided any of those three, who seem far more suited to taking her out on their good days. Suarez Navarro remains determined though that she can prevail despite the lopsided 5-2 head to head in her opponent’s favour. “I know how tough she is. Will be a really tough match. She’s fighting every ball, but at the same time she can play aggressive. She has a lot of experience on these rounds.” she said.
Prediction – Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets