Battle. That is what Caroline Wozniacki had to do to defeat Ana Konjuh from a set down in round one and battle is what she will have to do again this time to get past Daria Gavrilova.
Throughout the second half of 2014 Wozniacki was the second best player on the tour, her performances were up there with that of Serena Williams and since then well things just aren’t happening for the Dane who has now slipped out the top 20 in the world and hasn’t found any momentum yet this season.
On the other side of the court you have the young Australian Daria Gavrilova who did start the season well winning the Hopman Cup with Nick Kyrgios in Perth and then made it to the fourth round of the Australian Open but since leaving Australia it hasn’t happened for her but she was in fine form in round one winning 6-1 6-1 against Misaki Doi in under an hour whereas Caroline Wozniacki took 2 hours 35 minutes to defeat Konjuh 4-6 6-3 7-5.
Wozniacki is a great defender as we know however you can’t just defend and keep balls in play. I think in the opening two games against Konjuh she only hit 1 winner to the 7 from Konjuh.
What I have put together isn’t 100% accurate but something that struck me from the first set of Wozniacki/Konjuh was the depth or lack of depth from the Dane on shots and when you don’t get enough depth (yellow box) on shots you are basically inviting players to step forward and go for winners where as you should be aiming for more depth on the court (green box).
Gavrilova is a tough player to beat. Ana Ivanovic ran the show in Dubai against her recently winning 6-1 6-0 but I think with Wozniacki being a more defensive player it suits Gavrilova who will want to go big off the baseline with the forehand and move Wozniacki about.
This is the first meeting between the two and I just have a feeling this will go in the favour of Gavrilova. I expect her to not have complete control over the match but it will be interesting to see who takes control of the early stages of the match. Out of the two players I do think Wozniacki needs this more right now after a tricky start to the year and a round two loss won’t help!