LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - No.1 seed Caroline Wozniacki overcame the unusual circumstance of not being the crowd favorite in getting past Luxembourg's own Mandy Minella in the first round of the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open.
After a comfortable first set, Wozniacki served down 6-5 in the second set looking to force a tie-break and in fact won nine straight points from there en route to a 63 76(2) triumph.
"I got a good start," Wozniacki said. "I knew it was important to try not to let her into the match. The first set was pretty comfortable but the second set was tougher and she stepped up her game.
"She was playing at home and had nothing to lose. It was a tough match. She played well. I didn't play up to my best level, but I fought hard and managed to win, which was the most important thing."
Wozniacki touched on the fans' passionate support of Minella.
"It's difficult because the whole crowd was for her and cheering her on, but it's part of the experience, and it's always fun playing in front of a big crowd," Wozniacki said.
Next up for Wozniacki is Monica Niculescu, whom she has never dropped a set against in five meetings but will be careful not to overlook.
"She's a very difficult player because she slices, hits topspin and doesn't give you any rhythm," Wozniacki said. "But I've played her before and know what to expect. I just need to go out there and play aggressively."
There were a couple of upsets, as Katarzyna Piter was a 64 62 winner over No.4 seed Kirsten Flipkens and Stefanie Voegele edged No.6 seed Mona Barthel, 16 64 76(3). Piter's defeat of World No.20 Flipkens was by far her best career win, having never previously bested a Top 100 player. Voegele rallied from a 61 31 deficit against Barthel and overcame a match point down 5-4 in the third set.