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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Caroline Wozniacki claims things are 'great on and off the court' after win in Oz

Eleanor Crooks

Published 14/01/2014 | 09:26

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 14:  Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark shows off her engagement ring as she celebrates winning her first round match against Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain during day two of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 14, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark shows off her engagement ring as she celebrates winning her first round match against Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain
Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark celebrates her win over Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain in their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014.(AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark celebrates her win over Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain in their first round match at the Australian Open
The engagement ring of Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark is seen after she defeated Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain in their women's singles match at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 14, 2014. Wozniacki is engaged to golfer Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland.    REUTERS/David Gray (AUSTRALIA  - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
The engagement ring of Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark is seen after she defeated Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain

Defending champion Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki reached the second round of the Australian Open in contrasting styles on a baking hot day in Melbourne.

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Tenth seed Wozniacki dropped only two games in defeating Spain's Lourdes Dominguez Lino 6-0 6-2.

She said of the conditions: "It was a little warm out there today. I put a (drink) bottle down on the court and it started melting a little bit underneath. It was great that I managed to finish it off in two sets and it wasn't too long."

Wozniacki is playing in her first grand slam since becoming engaged to golfer Rory McIlroy but insists she is as hungry as ever to try to be a grand slam force once more.

The 23-year-old has not reached the quarter-finals at one of the sport's four biggest tournaments for two years.

She said: "I think I'm in a very good place in my life right now, on the court and off the court. I know what I want. I want to improve all the time. I want to be the best."

Meanwhile, there was a scare for eighth seed Jelena Jankovic when she fell during her match against Japan's Misaki Doi and needed treatment to her ankle, but she recovered to win 6-1 6-2.

Eleventh seed Simona Halep, who won more titles than any other woman except Serena Williams last season, was an even more emphatic winner, the Romanian defeating qualifier Katarzyna Piter 6-0 6-1.

Temperatures soared above 40C but that was still not enough for the tournament to implement the extreme heat policy, which would see play suspended on open courts and the roof shut on Rod Laver and Hisense Arena.

Whether the policy is used is a decision made by tournament referee Wayne McKewen, and a combination of heat and humidity is taken into account.

Second seed Azarenka, who has won the title for the last two years, spent an hour and 46 minutes on court in defeating Swede Johanna Larsson 7-6 (7/2) 6-2.

Larsson twice served for the first set only for Azarenka to break back and then win the tie-break convincingly.

The Belarusian described the conditions as "like dancing in a frying pan", but said: "It wasn't too bad. I went to practise after so I'm okay.

"It's not easy those conditions but it's the same for everybody. You just have to adapt to it and try to do the best things to prepare. Actually I felt better as the match was going on than in the beginning."

Azarenka, who meets Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the next round, was not concerned by her first-set struggles.

She said: "She played really well. I can't say that I was surprised by that. She really went for her shots. The ball bounced a lot higher, which suited her. It took me a little bit of time to find my range."

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