Wozniacki opens with win at Family Circle
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Second-seeded Caroline Wozniacki opened with a strong showing at the Family Circle, defeating Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-1, 6-1 on Wednesday for her sixth straight victory here.
Wozniacki only entered the tournament Saturday when a scheduled trip to Haiti with boyfriend Rory McIlroy was postponed. The 2011 Family Circle champion didn't show much rust from her last-minute decision to play. She broke Soler-Espinosa twice to win the final five games of the opening set.
Wozniacki continued to use her big serves - she took a 3-1 lead in the second set on a 111 mph ace - to keep Soler-Espinosa on the defensive and wrapped up the match in 59 minutes.
Wozniacki had reached the finals of the Indian Wells tournament, but was knocked out of her last event, Sony Open in Key Biscayne, in the round of 32. She acknowledged it's generally hard to transition smoothly from the faster hardcourt surfaces to the clay at the Family Circle's Billie Jean King Court.
Wozniacki, though, felt prepared and confident.
"I felt like I really served well and returned well today,'' she said. "I'm pleased with that.''
Past champions Samantha Stosur and Venus Williams were set to play in separate matches later. World No. 1 Serena Williams won her opening match here Tuesday.
In other early matches, 2009 Family Circle champion Sabine Lisicki fell to American qualifier Mallory Burdette in three sets and No. 10 Julia Goerges ousted Olga Govortsova in straight sets.
Wozniacki was off-kilter at first, winning her serve at deuce to start the match, then netting a backhand as Soler-Espinosa won the following game. But Wozniacki found her stride and took the next seven games, a stretch when Soler-Espinosa didn't win more than two points in any game.
The world's 10th-ranked player, Wozniacki pounded 100 mph serves that her opponent couldn't handle. Soler-Espinosa, of Spain, pushed a forehand into the net on match point to end things.