If you looked at the official scoresheet after Caroline Wozniacki’s third round match on Saturday, you would find a big, juicy ‘W’ next to her name.
But on closer inspection, it would appear the Dane, while technically a winner, didn’t really “win” her match at all. Instead her opponent, Lesia Tsurenko, lost it.
Nonetheless, Wozniacki advanced to the fourth round of Australian Open 2013 after a 6-4 6-3 victory in a match riddled with errors and sloppy play.
Tsurenko, the world No.85, was in sound form coming into the match after reaching the semifinals of the Brisbane International and then successfully qualifying for the Australian Open.
But her third round numbers were far from impressive. Forty-eight unforced errors effectively nullified her 48 total points won, and seven broken service games told the story for the 23-year-old. What more, the Ukrainian won only 37 per cent of first serve points and a stunning 27 per cent of second serve points.
Wozniacki didn’t play the greatest match either, but did enough to advance. The world No.10, who has found herself inside the women’s top 10 for four consecutive years, simply outlasted her opponent. She was broken five times and only hit five winners for the match.
But statistics aside, the Dane said there were still aspects of the match that pleased her.
“I thought maybe in the beginning there was a few mis-timed balls but in general I think I was running really well, I was getting in position well to the ball and I think I was playing some good tennis,” Wozniacki said.
“I think overall I’ve been playing some different players, players with different styles but I definitely feel like it’s getting better and better as the week progresses.”
It wasn’t the standard start to a third round Grand Slam match as many would have expected. In only a matter of minutes the game-by-game summary read: hold, hold, break, break, break and break, with the scoreboard showing 3-3. While on paper the first stanza looked to be on serve, neither player showed any signs of dominance, highlighted by the combined 20 total unforced errors and mere seven winners.
After two more subsequent breaks of serve, neither the players themselves nor the Hisense Arena crowd quite knew what to make of the match.
Up 5-4 and returning serve, Wozniacki finally found some luck after two forehand errors from Tsurenko at deuce gifted the Dane the opening set 6-4.
Superb use of the sidelines setting up two blinding Wozniacki winners – one backhand, one forehand, both down the line - helped the former world No.1 go ahead 2-1 to start the second set, and from there she was away.
Wozniacki simply held her own to round out the match, and while she didn’t win points quickly via booming winners, she maintained consistent play from the baseline and waited for Tsurenko to falter.
And falter she did. Up 5-3 and serving for the match, Wozniacki was aided by two more unforced errors from her opponent at deuce, shooting her into the fourth round at Melbourne Park for the fifth time in six years.
She will play in-form Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova on Monday.