DOHA – Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki recovered from having her serve broken in the opening game of the first set Monday night to post a 6-1, 6-2 victory over qualifier Mervana Jugic-Salkic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in their first-round match at the Qatar Total Open.
Playing under the lights at the Khalifa Tennis Complex, the 10th-seeded Wozniacki struggled against Jugic-Salkic in the first three games of the contest before taking control. Wozniacki saved two break points in the third game to go up 2-1, then reeled off the next four games to take the set.
The Dane played almost exclusively from the baseline and used huge ground strokes to cause her opponent to make several unforced errors.
Wozniacki broke in the first game of the second set and never looked back, closing out the match in exactly 1 hour.
“It’s tough to play the first match, especially against an opponent you have never played before,” said Wozniacki. “I just tried to focus on myself.”
Wozniacki, who lost in the first round here last year, was content with her effort this day.
“I was happy with my performance. I feel like I played some good tennis today,” she stated. “I think I’m hitting the ball well and have a purpose every time I go on the court.”
Ana Ivanovic, another former world No. 1 and the 13th seed here, dispatched Austria’s Tamira Paszek 6-1, 6-2.
“I actually expected a very tough match,” Ivanovic commented. “We had some battles in the past, but I really started well and was aggressive.”
The Serb felt her recent time on the practice court has been productive.
“I tried to do things I worked on sort of to translate onto the match court, and I did that well today,” she said. “I felt like I was doing a lot of damage with my forehand, so I tried to keep that game plan.”
Wozniacki and Ivanovic were the only two seeded players in action on the opening day of the tournament. The top eight seeds have byes into the second round.
Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka is the top seed, while Serena Williams is seeded second and Maria Sharapova third.
In other first-round action, qualifier Anastasia Rodionova of Australia beat China’s Zheng Jie 6-2, 6-3 and Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova downed American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands 7-6 (7-1), 6-4.