An increasingly vulnerable Caroline Wozniacki will have to be careful during her round two clash on Thursday, where she takes on a home player in Danielle Collins in front of a potentially vocal Arthur Ashe Stadium court. The head to head currently stands at 1-1 but Collins win earlier this year did come by a retirement after the first set in Rome.
Wozniacki came into the US Open last year as the second seed but is now on the verge of falling out of the top 20 due to a mix of injuries and loss of form. She added Cincinnati (l. to Dayana Yastremska) to a list of notable opening exits, following losses at likes of Indian Wells and Roland Garros. She almost added this tournament to it with a far from stellar performance against Yafan Wang. She would eventually come through 1-6 7-5 6-3 but there is tons of room for improvement for the Dane. “I had a little bit of a slow start,” Wozniacki said of her performance. “I feel like I didn’t play badly, but then I started over forcing it a little bit once she was hitting everything in.”
Despite a 2019 Australian Open semi final on her ranking, Collins is not seeded for this tournament which suggests she has failed to kick on and build on the undoubted potential she showed in Melbourne. The American does play attacking tennis but needs to improve her consistency. While she wasn’t the only victim of Saisai Zheng in San Jose, she won just two games against the eventual champion – unable to deal with the unconventional style of her opponent. Collins will be glad to get through round one, having needed three sets to see off Polona Hercog.
“She plays aggressive tennis. She tries to take the ball early. It’s important for me that I redirect the ball and get a lot of balls back.” Wozniacki said of her opponent. In the past, this would be the perfect type of opponent for her were they not absolutely in the zone. Now, Collins should be more confident of a victory but will need to improve on her first round performance. Wozniacki will be hoping the pattern of her US Open performances continue, having made the final in both 2009 and 2014.
Prediction – Danielle Collins in three sets