PARIS, France - No.2 seed Caroline Wozniacki had a smooth passage into the third round of the French Open, dropping just one game against big-serving Spanish qualifier Georgina Garcia Perez in a 50-minute beatdown.
The 6-1, 6-0 victory also keeps Wozniacki’s bid for the WTA World No.1 ranking alive. She’d have to win the title to unseat Halep outright and return to the top, but it’s easier said than done - clay is not the Dane’s best surface, and she’s only reached as far as the quarterfinals at Roland Garros twice in 11 appearances, and her most recent clay title came in 2011.
“It was definitely a good match,” Wozniacki told press afterward. “I neutralized her serve, which was the main thing. And then from the baseline, I felt like I was in control for most of it. It felt good out there.
“I think there is no real easy matches ever, and especially on clay. So I'm just out there trying to keep my rhythm and trying to play my best tennis.”
Her victory against Garcia Perez is a strong step in the right direction. Nicknamed “Huracán” (“Hurricane”) by her legion of Twitter fans, Garcia Perez made landfall in Paris by qualifying for her career first Grand Slam main draw and powering through to the second round - breaking the Top 200 in the process.
But up against the former World No.1 on Court Philippe-Chatrier, Garcia Perez looked far out of her depth. Her big serve - the cornerstone of her game - was nowhere to be found and Wozniacki broke her five times across both sets. The pair were even at seven winners apiece, but Garcia Perez far outpaced Wozniacki with 29 unforced errors against the Dane’s eight.
Up next, Wozniacki will take on a local favorite - and face down the Parisian crowd - when she plays the winner between No.32 seed Alize Cornet and Pauline Parmentier.