MELBOURNE, Australia - Former champion Caroline Wozniacki started the final tournament of her professional career with an emphatic victory over Kristie Ahn in the first round of the Australian Open.
The 2018 winner Down Under, Wozniacki needed just 85 minutes to dispatch the World No.92, 6-1, 6-3, on Melbourne Arena.
Closer than the scoreboard would indicate, particularly in the second set, the two players engaged in lengthy rallies from the baseline for large portions of the first round encounter, but the former World No.1 had all the answers to seal the victory.
"I feel good having won my first match here," Wozniacki said after the match. "You know, it's always tricky, especially knowing it's my last tournament. There's a lot of just emotions, but I tried to keep them in check, and I thought I did that very well today."
Not done yet!💪🏻 Moving on to round 2!🎾 thanks for all the support❤️ pic.twitter.com/yWaodH33Sj— Caroline Wozniacki (@CaroWozniacki) January 20, 2020
The first game of the second set proved crucial for both players' prospects in the match, as Ahn ultimately surrendered serve in a marathon that lasted nearly 20 minutes, but nonetheless battled hard despite losing nine of the first 10 games of the match.
Ahn saved eight break points, and had three chances to hold serve and take her first lead, but ultimately surrendered serve after 10 deuces en route to falling behind, 6-1, 3-0.
The Stanford graduate would score her first break of the Wozniacki serve in the ensuing game, and kept the pressure on until the match's conclusion, having been two points away from leveling the second set in the sixth game.
With Wozniacki later serving at 15-15 in the eighth game of the second set, the match was briefly paused due to rain to close the Melbourne Arena roof, and upon resumption the Dane won seven of the next eight points to seal the set, and the match.
The World No.36's swan song will next continue in the second round, where she'll face one of two teenagers in either No.23 seed Dayana Yastremska, or Slovenian qualifier Kaja Juvan.
"I think I'm just really trying to enjoy every moment. I don't know that there is one particular moment, but there is once in a while, you're, like, Wow, this really is my last one," Wozniacki said.
"You never know, [the end], it's still two weeks from now. But every match you go out there, I'm just going to give it everything that I have, because it could be the last.
"I have played Yastremska before. She plays very fast, tries to take the ball early. I have never played the other girl before. I'll have to just study up a little bit on both of them."