ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - Playing her first match as a Grand Slam champion, Caroline Wozniacki dropped just one game in a dominant display against Russian youngster Anastasia Potapova to reach the quarterfinals at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy.
Coming straight to Russia after her Melbourne triumph - with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup in tow - Wozniacki picked up right where she left off with a commanding 6-0, 6-1 victory in just over an hour.
“I did feel a little tired today, but I was playing well,” Wozniacki told press after the match. “I think I moved very well around the court and played good defensively.
“It’s always nice to start off a tournament like this. I’m happy I got a quick win so I can get more rest and get ready for tomorrow.”
Her opponent, Wimbledon girls champion Potapova, sprung an upset in the last round to defeat Tatjana Maria and win her first career WTA-level match, earning the matchup against Wozniacki.
The 16-year-old Russian looked decidedly out of her depth out on the Sibur Arena against the World No.1, although the first set was actually tighter than the 6-0 scoreline would suggest.
Despite Potapova being broken in each of her service games, she made Wozniacki work the whole time - each of Potapova’s service games went to deuce multiple times as the young Russian struggled to stay in the contest.
But despite putting up a mammoth effort, Potapova wasn’t able to hold once - or to put any pressure on Wozniacki’s serve. The Dane blazed through her own service games dropping just two points in the entire set, notching two love games along the way.
The second set saw Wozniacki continue her imperious form, although she faced some early resistance from her opponent. Potapova never deviated from her aggressive, attacking game and was rewarded with her first break of the Wozniacki serve.
However, as in the first set, she wasn’t able to hold her own serve against Wozniacki’s relentless returning. A double fault from Potapova - her sixth of the match - put an end to the battle after an hour and seven minutes.
Wozniacki and Potapova were fairly even on the winners’ column - 16 and 17, respectively - but Potapova was undone by her unforced errors, hitting 31 during the match, over three times more than her opponent’s 10. The Dane created 21 break chances off Potapova’s vulnerable serve, converting seven times and won 68% of points off her first serve.
“[Potapova] is a good young player, and she needs some more experience, but obviously she won junior Wimbledon - just like I did - and I’m sure that she will improve and we’ll see her on the court more on the tour,” Wozniacki said.
Through to the quarterfinals in St. Petersburg, Wozniacki will take on another young Russian in Daria Kasatkina. The No.8 seed Kasatkina cruised past Alize Cornet 6-2, 6-1 yesterday.