Wozniacki Saves Two Match Points To Advance to Australian Open Third Round
(January 17, 2018) No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki saved two match points and rallied from 5-1 down in the final set to win the last six games to win the match and advance to the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.
Former No. 1-ranked Wozniacki beat No. 119 Jana Fett, who was making her main draw debut at a major tournament 3-6, 6-2, 7-5.
“At 5-1, 40-15, I felt like I was one foot out of the tournament,” said Wozniacki. “She served a great serve down the T, as well. It was just slightly out. I was kind of lucky.
“Then I felt her tighten up just slightly. I thought to myself, you know what, at this point, make her win it, don’t give it to her. When I managed to win it to 5-2, I said, Okay, I’m still alive. She still has four more balls to win in a row or in the game. I was like, Just try and stay aggressive.
“That was that.”
“That was crazy,” said the former No. 1 Wozniacki, “I don’t know how I got back into the match.
“She’s a tricky opponent and she had nothing to lose. And then I think she realized she was up 5-1 and she let off the speed just a little bit, and I was like, this is my last chance. I have to go in and attack.”
The Dane said it was one of her best-ever comebacks – I’m very proud of the way I came back. It was definitely very difficult. Definitely wasn’t my best match, especially in the beginning. It was very different conditions. I just tried to mentally stay focused, tried to play my game. It was very hard, and she was playing well.
“All of a sudden seeing myself down, almost out of the tournament, I started playing better and started really playing the tennis that I wanted to play.”
No. 4 seeded Elina Svitolina is the next highest-ranked player on Wozniacki’s side of the draw, and she next plays 15-year-old qualifier Marta Kostyuk, her Ukrainian countrywoman, the youngest player to win a main draw match at the Australian Open since Martina Hingis in 1996.
The 15-year-old Ukrainian followed up her upset win over 25th seed Shuai Peng in the first round with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Australian wildcard Olivia Rogowska.
Venus Williams’ conqueror has been conquered – Belinda Bencic lost to Thai qualifier Luksika Kumkhum 6-1, 6-3.
The comeback of the day on the men’s side of the draw had 15th seed and 2008 finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came back from 2-5 down in the final set to beat up-and-coming Canadian Denis Shapovalov 3-6, 6-3, 1-6, 7-6(4), 7-5 to reach the third round.
“I had to fight a lot and make him finish the match,” said the Frenchman. “He never did, so it’s good for me.
“But, yeah, the most important for me, it’s to fight, give my best on court until the last point. That’s what I did today. I think he deserved to win also today, but I was also courageous, and I did my job at the end. I played well. I think I deserve it, too.”
“There’s always nerves in a tennis match. It’s a sport,” said the 18-year-old Canadian. “I wasn’t thinking about it much. Just didn’t play a good game on my serve. Then he picked up his level.
“Yeah, nothing too bad there. I mean, I’m just going to learn from it and keep going.”
Top seed Rafael Nadal had little trouble advancing to the third round. 2009 winner and last year’s losing finalist defeated Leonardo Mayer 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (4). Nadal had a slight hiccup, getting broken serving for the match at 5-4, but dominated the tiebreak to close it out on his first match point.
Third seed Grigor Dimitrov escaped with a victory over qualifier Mackenzie MacDonald 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 0-6, 8-6 to reach the round of 32.
French open champion and No. 7 seed Jelena Ostapenko beat Duan Yingying 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
No. 12 Julia Goerges lost to Alize Cornet 6-4, 6-3. It’s the first time that the French woman has ever beaten the German in her career.
No. 19 Magdalena Rybarikova beat Kirsten Flipkens 6-4, 0-6, 6-2.
Other men’s seeds advancing No. 6 Marin Cilic, No. 10 Pablo Carreno Busta, who was leading 6-2, 3-0 when Gilles Simon retired with a thigh injury, No. 23 Gilles Muller and No. 28 Damir Dzumhur.
More to follow…