In her first match of 2018, Caroline Wozniacki sprinted past American Madison Brengle with the loss of just three games at the ASB Classic.
WTA Staff
January 2, 2018

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Top seed Caroline Wozniacki began her campaign at the ASB Classic with an emphatic 6-3, 6-0 victory over Madison Brengle on Tuesday. 

Facing her American foe for the third time overall, the former World No.1 proved nearly flawless, winning the last seven games of the match and saving all four break points she faced to secure victory in just 58 minutes.

"I thought I played pretty well, epescially considering it's the first match back of the year," Wozniacki said. "It took me a couple of games to kind of just get the rhythm and then I started playing better and better.

"I'm just trying to get my legs moving, trying to make the right decisions, wait for the right shots to play aggressive and go for it, and find the right balanca of offense and defense."

The World No.85 stayed even with Wozniacki over the first five games, forcing the top seed to save a break point in her second service game, as she faced the top seed at the tournament in the opening round for the second straight year.

In the 2017 edition of the ASB Classic, Brengle served up a three-set victory over Serena Williams for the latter's only defeat of the season, after which she won the Australian Open and missed the rest of the season due to her pregnancy. 

However, Wozniacki pounced in the sixth game to secure a love break in her first opportunity of the match, and held at love in the next game to build a 5-2 edge. From 2-2 in the set, the Dane had a stretch in which she won 12 straight points to 

The World No.3's momenum continued to build from there, and she won 12 of the last 13 points played on her serve en route to pocketing a one-set lead.

Wozniacki hit her stride in the second set, hardly looking back after securing a second love break in the first game.

Brengle's best opportunity to get on the board game in the fourth game, in which she built a 0-40 advantage, but she was unable to convert on any of the three opportunities as the former World No.1 saved the bagel set and defeated the American in straight sets for the third time.

The top seed will next face Croatia's Petra Martic, who defeated Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova in one of just four main draw matches to be completed on Monday due to inclement weather.

"She's a good player - she serves big, she plays aggressive, and I'll need to be ready and just keep trying to find my rhythm," Wozniacki assessed.

"As long as I get to play, I'm happy. There's a big depth in the game and...there's a lot more power in the game. The top players need to keep getting better because you have young ones coming up behind you."

The Dane arrived in Auckland this week with a chance to reclaim the top ranking in the first week of the season.

Simona Halep can gaurantee she holds onto the top spot with a win over Duan Ying-Ying on Wednesday at the Shenzhen Open; should the Romanian lose, Wozniacki can jump both Halep and Garbiñe Muguruza by winning the title in Auckland.