herald

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Wozniacki learning from Rory

World No 1 drawing inspiration from Irish boyfriend in bid to capture 'Slam'

CAROLINE WOZNIACKI has taken up golf and drawn inspiration from Rory McIlroy's stunning turnaround to win the US Open after his US Masters meltdown, as she seeks to break through for her maiden grand slam at Melbourne Park.

Wozniacki, whose long reign as world number one has been dogged by criticism for her lack of a grand slam title, said her Irish boyfriend McIlroy had given her a few tips on how to move on from heart-breaking failure.

"It's just about, you can't really do anything about the past," Wozniacki said of her motivational chats with the 22-year-old. "You just need to look forward. You have a tournament now, and you want to do the best you can. That's it.

"Then if it goes well, it's great. If not, you have the next one. It's like tennis. So, you know, it's just important not to dwell too much in the past."

Wozniacki showed her own sporting pedigree at Hisense Arena today with a grinding 6-1 7-6 defeat over long-time friend and former doubles partner Anna Tatishvili of Georgia.

She will next face 31st seed Monica Niculescu of Romania in the third round.

Support

Defending champion Kim Clijsters needed only 47 minutes to beat Stephanie Foretz Gacon of France 6-0, 6-1, then showed just how much support she has at Rod Laver Arena by getting the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to her younger sister.

No 11-seeded Clijsters showed no signs of a hip problem that forced her to retire against Daniela Hantuchova at a warmup tournament two weeks ago.

She will meet Hantuchova in the next round here, and has a potential rematch of the 2011 Australian Open final with French Open champion Li Na in the fourth round.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer took differing paths against German rivals to the next stage. Nadal beat Tommy Haas 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in the last afternoon match on Rod Laver Arena.

Second-seeded Nadal had his right knee heavily taped again after hurting it while sitting in a hotel chair at the weekend, but it didn't seem to restrict him.

"Much better, I am very happy about how the knee is improving," Nadal said.

"I am playing without problems, so that's OK."

Federer, who has won four of his 16 Grand Slam titles in Australia, got a walkover into the third round when Andreas Beck withdrew from their scheduled match with a back injury.

Eighth-ranked Mardy Fish became the first top 10 player on the men's side to lose, falling 7-6 (4), 6-3, 7-6 (6) to Colombia's Alejandro Falla.

Afterwards, Fish questioned whether the Colombian had "abused" the rules by calling out the trainer as a tactical ploy during a tense third set.

Seventh seed Tomas Berdych advanced 6-1, 6-0, 7-6 (4) over Olivier Rochus of Belgium, while 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, No 18 Feliciano Lopez and No 30 Kevin Anderson all progressed.







ELIMINATED

On the women's side, 10th-seeded Francesca Schiavone was eliminated 6-4, 6-3 by fellow Italian Romina Oprandi and No16 Peng Shuai lost 6-2, 6-4 to Iveta Benesova of Czech Republic.

Former No1-ranked Jelena Jankovic beat Chang Kai-chen of Taiwan 6-4, 6-2.

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