Former world number one and third seed Caroline Wozniacki began her 2017 season in style, cruising past American Nicole Gibbs 6-1, 6-0 to begin her ASB Classic campaign in Auckland. Wozniacki, a former finalist in the New Zealand capital, reached the second round with the loss of only one game, having never faced a break point the entire match.
Wozniacki takes comfortable opening set
Wozniacki began her first match of the new year with the tightest game on her serve of the entire match, eventually holding after one deuce. The Dane then took the break on her first time of asking before a comfortable hold to love put Wozniacki in the ascendency. Gibbs took a comfortable hold of serve to claim her first game of the match, but the American's fight back was to be short lived, with the third seed going on to win the next nine games in a 52-minute master class from the Dane.
The 2015 finalist took care of her service game for a 4-1 lead, with her second break of the Gibbs serve following to put the Dane a game from the opening set. Wozniacki closed out the set in style, holding easily to cap off a near-flawless opening set.
Wozniacki flies through dominant second set
After a comfortable 27-minute opening set, things only got tougher in the second set for the American, with Wozniacki showing no mercy, breaking Gibbs in the first game of the set. The two-time US Open finalist backed up that break with an easy service game before snatching another break off the American to go up a double break. The third seed kept rolling, consolidating the break with ease to put herself up 4-0, a seemingly unassailable lead.
The former number one took her fifth break of the match off the Gibbs serve, sending the Dane a game from a spot in the second round. Wozniacki punctuated the dominant victory with a hold to love, capping off a near-perfect 6-1, 6-0 victory in just over 50 minutes to reach the second round here in Auckland.
Wozniacki on the near-flawless first round victory
"Today everything was going in, even with the wind I managed to keep control of the ball and the points. I was pleased, especially with how I was serving," said a very happy Wozniacki.
"I've just been training really hard in the off season," said the Dane. "It's the first match of the year for me so it's always tough, and Nicole is a great friend of mine, we practice a lot together so we know each other's game," concluded the third seed, who will next face another American in Varvara Lepchenko, who Wozniacki owns a 4-1 head-to-head lead.