Top-seeded Wozniacki advances at ASB Classic in New Zealand

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki acknowledged she was rusty in her first match in 2019 as she beat lucky loser Laura Siegemund 6-3, 6-2 yesterday in the first round of the ASB Classic.

After waiting until the third day of the tournament to play her first-round match, Wozniacki was businesslike in the first set, breaking Siegemund in the fourth game and going on to clinch the set in 42 minutes.

She broke twice for a 3-0 lead in the second set before becoming frustrated with a swirling wind on the stadium court and with a tenacious opponent who mixed her ground strokes effectively.

“I definitely felt a bit rusty out there, just with that little bit of wind,” Wozniacki said. “It wasn’t my prettiest match but I just tried to hang in there and tried to serve well and get a lot of balls back. Hopefully tomorrow is going to be better.”

Wozniacki is playing the Auckland tournament for the fifth time and reached the final last year, losing to Julia Goerges, before going on to win the Australian Open. She found a difficult opponent in Siegemund who has a wide range of shots but tends only to unleash her best on big points.

Siegemund made it into the main draw as a lucky loser, going down in the final round of qualifying to Bianca Andreescu but winning a place in the main draw after the withdrawal of Margarita Gasparyan with a leg injury.

“She’s a tricky player,” Wozniacki said. “She comes to the net, she fights for the ball, she mixes the pace so it’s not easy for sure.”

Wozniacki will play Canadian qualifier Bianca Andreescu in the second round today.

Later yesterday, third-seeded Hsieh Su-Wei beat Olympic champion Monica Puig 6-1, 7-6 (3). Seventh-seed Kirsten Flipkens was beaten 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 by Sara Sorribes-Tormo of Spain.