Australian Open 2018: Caroline Wozniacki cautious about maiden Grand Slam chances despite dominating win

Melbourne: Caroline Wozniacki is not thinking about a first Grand Slam title, saying there's still "a long way to go" after storming into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Sunday.

The World No 2 handed out a tennis masterclass to 2017 Wimbledon semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova 6-3, 6-0 in 63 minutes of mesmerising shot-making on Rod Laver Arena.

Angelique Kerber is the only Grand Slam champion remaining in the draw meaning Wozniacki may never have a better chance to get off the mark.

Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki celebrates after defeating Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova in their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

Caroline Wozniacki celebrates after defeating Magdalena Rybarikova in the fourth round. AP

But the Dane was in no mood to think about breaking her duck with an Australian Open title, nine years after making her first major final at the US Open.

"No," she replied when asked by reporters if she could see her hands on the trophy yet. "I just play one match at a time.

"We've played four matches so far. There's still three to go. There's still a long way to go. So I really just focus on the task ahead of me."

Wozniacki conceded an early break to go 1-2 down but then rattled off 11 of the next 12 games to complete a humiliating rout of the 19th seed.

"She really mixes up the pace, I just tried to calm down, get my returns in and wait for the opportunities to attack," she said after a ruthless crushing of the Slovak.

"I think you can tell my confidence is pretty good at the moment."

Rybarikova had a breakout year in 2017 as she reached her first Slam semi-final and got into the world's top 20.

'Tweener' success

But she was given a tennis lesson by the Dane, who won 11 consecutive points to close out the first set and sprint into a 2-0 lead in the second.

A rampant Wozniacki even successfully attempted a rare "tweener" back between her legs to retrieve a lob.

"That's the first time in a match. So if I may say so myself, I was pretty proud of that," she said. "I'm admiring myself right there.

"I'm sorry. But you know, I've made a few tweeners in practice. But never in a match. And even in practice sometimes I make a fool out of myself. So when that went in I was like, OK, I'm done."

Wozniacki has only dropped one set in the tournament but was perilously close to going out at 1-5, 15-40 in the third set to Jana Fett in their second-round encounter.

"I think being almost out of the tournament, you have nothing to lose after that," said Wozniacki, reflecting on saving two match points.

"I played really well from being down 5-1. Since then I've just kept that going basically."

She will face the unseeded Carla Suarez Navarro from Spain for a place in the semi-finals and leads their head-to-head series 5-2, with both the Spaniard's wins coming on clay.

"Obviously hard courts is a little different," said Wozniacki. "But we've had a lot of tough encounters on hard courts as well. I'm expecting a great fight and some really good tennis."


Published Date: Jan 21, 2018 14:05 PM | Updated Date: Jan 21, 2018 14:05 PM

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