Photo: Eisele/Giubilo/ZimmerCaroline Wozniacki (DEN)
LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN: World No. 8 Caroline Wozniacki needed three sets to overcome Anne Keothavong 46 63 62 and move into the second round at London 2012, ending a spirited performance by the British woman competing in her home Olympics.
The British contingent in the crowd on Centre Court were delighted when Keothavong, ranked 76 in the world, broke the Dane in the opening game and held onto the advantage to take the set.
But in front of golfer boyfriend Rory McIlroy, Wozniacki grew in confidence, and claimed the next two sets to carve out victory in 1 hour 54 minutes.
"I felt from the beginning that if I was playing my tennis on my level, I was going to turn the match around,” said former world No. 1. “It's never easy, it's the Olympics, you only play every four years, you are playing a British girl at home on Centre Court and you just want to get everything started."
"When you start off with getting broken, then that's not the start you wished for and all of a sudden you have to try and get it back and break. She served pretty well and it was tough for me to break her, but the most important thing is that I just kept fighting and kept going, and in the end I played a little bit better than she did."
After Keothavong took the early lead, Wozniacki had no opportunities to her in the opening set. In fact she came close to losing her serve again at 4-5, but managed to save a set point when Keothavong made a rare error. Keothavong served out the set in the next game however to the applause of the fans in the stadium waving British flags.
But in the second set the 22-year-old Dane started to cut out the errors, and broke Keothavong in game two. The Brit hit back to level the match three games later, but Wozniacki was now playing better and, despite the chants of “Go GB!” in Centre Court, broke Keothavong again for a 5-3 lead which she converted to win the second set.
Wozniacki’s greater experience started to show and as her opponent tired, the 2009 US Open runner-up stepped up another gear, breaking in the third and seventh games to clinch the match.
It was the pair’s fourth meeting and Wozniacki has now won three in a row against the Brit. It was a disappointing day for Keothavong who had been hoping to join her countrywoman Elena Baltacha in the second round, Baltacha having earlier defeated Agnes Szavay of Hungary.
“I thought I got off to a great start. I thought I was playing some great tennis in the first set and outplayed her there,” said Keovathong. “She did get better. I mean, she started making a lot more first serves. And she was hitting it pretty deep. She missed less.”
“It was pretty tough for me,” Keovathong continued. “I don't feel like that was a match I lost. I felt like she beat me.”
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