U.S. Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki rallied to beat Australian qualifier Jarmila Gajdosova in three sets to advance to the quarterfinals of the Pan Pacific Open on Thursday
The Danish world No. 9, playing in her first match since losing to Serena Williams in her second U.S. Open final earlier this month, won 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 and will now play eighth-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro in the last eight in Tokyo.
Gajdosova, ranked 91st in the world, broke Wozniacki in the opening game of match and repeated the feat in a hard-fought ninth before holding on to take the first set.
Wozniacki, the second seed here, took a 2-0 lead in the second set at Ariake Colosseum, but her frustration started to show as she twice smashed her racket to the floor after dumping a shot into the net in the fourth game that Gajdosova aced out to make it 2-2.
Both players held serve, but Wozniacki, the 2010 champion, took the second set when Gajdosova sent her return wide.
After dropping the first two games of the final set, the 24-year-old Wozniacki won the next four before going on to finish off her opponent with a superb cross-court shot.
“It was my first match (after the U.S. Open),” said Wozniacki who received a bye into the second round here.
“Jarmila played really well and attacked the ball and it took me a while just to get into it,” she said, adding that reaching the final at Flushing Meadows had done wonders for her confidence.
“I played some good tennis those two weeks. I managed to pull through today and was a little bit lucky but also played some good points at important moments.”
Suarez Navarro prevailed 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 against Russia’s Daria Gavrilova.
“Today was tough,” said Navarro, who reached the semifinals of the doubles on Wednesday with compatriot Garbine Muguruza.
“I am happy to be in the quarterfinals and also in the (doubles) semifinals but it is a very tough tournament for me. We played almost two hours (today), long rallies, long points. She (Gavrilova) really played good and it was difficult but the experience was a little bit with me.”
Muguruza also advanced in singles, beating fourth-seeded Serb Jelena Jankovic 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 to set up a quarterfinal meeting with Australian Casey Dellacqua, a 6-2, 6-4 winner against qualifier Marina Erakovic of New Zealand.