Dane top seed Wozniacki dispels doubts of wrist injury with crushing Rd 1 win over Rodionova
World No 1 Caroline Wozniacki dispelled any lingering doubt about her wrist injury by brushing aside the challenge of Anastasia Rodionova at the Australian Open yesterday. The Dane injured the joint during her defeat by Agnieszka Radwanska at the Sydney International last week and there were reports she had been wincing in practice as recently as yesterday. But there were few signs of discomfort as she crushed Australian Rodionova 6-2 6-1 in one hour and 16 minutes.
Caroline Wozniacki returns to Anastasia Rodionova during their Australian Open first round tie in Melbourne yesterday. Pics/AFP
Nervous start She later said: "It (the wrist) feels much better. I was a bit nervous before the match as I didn't really know what to expect but I am very happy with the way I felt out there. When I got into my rhythm and started to play more comfortably it paid off."
Bitter loss: No 22 Fernando Verdasco reacts during his first round loss to No 35 Aussie Bernard Tomic yesterday. Tomic won 4-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, 7-5.
Wozniacki's late-night victory capped a good opening day for the seeded women after Victoria Azarenka earlier led a quintet of top-ranked players in cruising into the second round. Azarenka, the third seed, thrashed Britain's Heather Watson 6-1, 6-0 to join defending champion Kim Clijsters, last year's beaten finalist Li Na, eighth seed Agnieszka Radwanska and 10th seed Francesca Schiavone in posting victories.
Kim cruises Clijsters looked rusty in her win over Portugal's. The 11th-seeded Belgian missed the majority of the second half of last season through injury and then had to pull out of the Brisbane International warm-up event with a hip injury. And her usual fluency was lacking although she managed to advance courtesy of a 7-5 6-1 triumph.
"I felt like I had to find my rhythm... but once I did, I felt I was in charge most of the time," she said. Li, who became the first Asian player to win a Grand Slam when she won the French Open last June, beat Ksenia Pervak 6-3 6-1, Schiavone saw off Laura Pous-Tio 6-1 6-3 and Radwanska beat American Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-7 (10/12) 6-4 6-2.