Wozniacki overcomes Sydney wobble
January 13, 2012
World number one Caroline Wozniacki survived a major scare before reaching the quarter-finals of the Sydney International.
All seemed lost for the Dane when she trailed Dominika Cibulkova 4-1 in the deciding set, but she regrouped to reel off the next five games and win 7-5 2-6 6-4 in two hours and 22 minutes.
"I didn't really play well and she was hammering the ball," Wozniacki said.
"I was just standing there and trying to figure out what to do.
"But I felt like everything I tried to do wasn't working and I was making a lot of unforced errors.
"Of course I'm happy to be through to the next round here. That I could fight back from that score is definitely satisfying, but I definitely need to step up my game a little bit in the next round.
"I never gave up. I thought I didn't have that chance, but I never gave up the fight. I just tried to keep in there and hang in there. It paid off today, and I'm happy about that."
Wozniacki looked on track for a comfortable win when she claimed the first set before her game suddenly fell apart and Cibulkova found her range.
World number 18 Cibulkova, who beat Wozniacki in last year's event and at Wimbledon, raced through the second set and was cruising in the third until the top seed turned on the style to close out the match.
Cibulkova also contributed to her own demise with unforced errors at crucial times and 10 double faults.
Wozniacki will play seventh seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarter-finals after the Pole defeated German Andrea Petkovic 7-5 6-4.
Second seed Petra Kvitova was also forced to dig deep before finally overcoming Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru 7-5 3-6 6-4.
Meanwhile, fourth seed Li Na came from a set down to defeat South African Chanelle Scheepers 2-6 6-4 6-1.
Last year's Australian Open finalist Li will play Lucie Safarova in the quarter-finals after the Czech benefited from Svetlana Kuznetsova's retirement due to the heat. The Russian was trailing 6-1 2-0 when she pulled out.
Italian Francesca Schiavone was a surprise elimination, being beaten 7-5 6-1 by Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova, but there were no problems for French eighth seed Marion Bartoli, who swept aside Australian wild-card entry Jelena Dokic 6-0 6-3.
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, the third seed, defeated Serbian Jelena Jankovic 6-4 6-2.
In the men's event, there was disappointment for the home crowd as Australian Lleyton Hewitt failed to capitalise on a strong start against Serbian fifth seed Viktor Troicki.
Unseeded Hewitt, the former US Open and Wimbledon champion, took the opening set of the first-round match but went on to lose 4-6 6-3 6-2.