EASTBOURNE, Great Britain - Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki continued her 2019 Nature Valley International campaign with another straight sets win, taking out former Top 10 player Andrea Petkovic, 6-4, 6-4.
“I’m just happy to be through,” Wozniacki said afterwards. “It was starting to get a little dark there at the end, so I’m pleased that I was able to finish it off.”
Both sets were very closely contested, with not much to separate the two players at the start - in the first set alone, Wozniacki and Petkovic created a combined ten break points as their strong returns kept the server under pressure. It was Wozniacki who took her chances first, breaking at 2-1 - but Petkovic was right on her heels to make it 2-2.
Wozniacki had to dodge two more break chances to hold in the longest game of the match at 3-3, before responding emphatically with a break 5-4, reeling off the last three games of the set to close it out.
In contrast to the opening set, there was just one break point on offer in the entirety of the second - and Wozniacki didn’t hesitate, breaking to love at 4-3. Wozniacki served out the match, taking her spot in the third round after an hour and a half on court.
“I think I served pretty well, and then I got lucky to break her once,” Wozniacki reflected. “I just held serve well, and that was awesome.”
Both of Wozniacki’s two career grass court titles came here at Eastbourne (2009, 2018), a tournament where she’s also reached the final in 2017 and posted three semifinal finishes in 2013-2015.
The Dane will look to her long experience in Eastbourne as she advances to the third round, where a familiar foe awaits. In a rematch of last year’s final, Wozniacki will take on No.8 seed Aryna Sabalenka in her next match in Eastbourne.
Last year at this event, Wozniacki edged past the Belarusian in straight sets, 7-5, 7-6(5). But Sabalenka claimed her revenge a few weeks later in Toronto, coming back from a set down to win 5-7, 6-2, 7-6(4) in the pair’s most recent meeting.
“I played her here in the final last year, so I know it’s going to be a tough match,” Wozniacki said. “I’m looking forward to it.”