Comeback queen Wozniacki downs Petra Kvitova at US Open


Caroline Wozniacki has clearly made the right choice to come out of retirement and try her hand at tennis again, claiming the biggest win of her comeback with a spot in the third round of the US Open.

The Dane's grand slam adventure continued with an upset 7-5 7-6 (7-5) win over 11th seed and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova on Wednesday, in the battle of 33-year-old grand slam champions.

Twice a finalist at Flushing Meadows, Wozniacki was back on the stage she has graced so many times against a familiar foe in front of an adoring crowd under the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights.

Wozniacki won the 2018 Australian Open and reached No.1 in the rankings - she's currently No. 623 - during her first stint on tour.

Wozniacki left the sport in early 2020 to start a family, and later spent time working as a TV analyst, and now she and former NBA player David Lee are the parents of two children.

The last time Wozniacki beat a top-20 ranked opponent was at the 2018 WTA Finals when she took down then world No.5 Kvitova.

Five years later, their 15th meeting ended with the same outcome.

The match did not start well for Wozniacki as Kvitova broke her to open the contest. But the Dane hit back immediately with a break of her own and then clinched the first set with another break.

Kvitova was never going to outwork the Dane, who endeared herself to New Yorkers by returning to the city to run the marathon, but the Czech had other weapons including a willingness to go for the big shot.

The play remained just as tight in the second with Kvitova serving to stay in the contest at 5-5, fighting off two match points to send the set to a tie-break.

But Wozniacki would not be denied, clinching the tie-break 7-5 when the Czech's desperate forehand sailed long.

"This couldn't be better. It's a dream come true," Wozniacki said: "If you had asked me three years ago I would have said I'll never be back here, playing on this court."

Earlier, American sixth seed Coco Gauff delivered a convincing 6-3 6-2 win over Russia's Mirra Andreeva in a battle of teenage talents to reach the third round.

Gauff, whose lead-up to the year's final grand slam included hardcourt titles in Washington and Cincinnati, converted four of her five break-point opportunities and surrendered her serve just once during the 76-minute match in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The 19-year-old Gauff said she took a more aggressive approach into her second meeting with the 16-year-old Andreeva after having to rally back to beat the Russian in three sets at this year's French Open.

While top-seeded title favourite Iga Swiatek was made to work hard for a 6-3 6-4 second-round win over tenacious Australian Daria Saville, Gauff enjoyed a surprisingly much more routine day at the office.

Up next for Gauff will be a clash with Belgian 32nd seed Elise Mertens, who was a 3-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-1 winner over American Danielle Collins in a match that lasted nearly three hours.

China's Lin Zhu stunned two-time grand slam winner and 18th-seeded Belarusian Victoria Azarenka 6-3 6-3, while Czech 10th seed and Roland Garros runner-up Karolina Muchova eased past Magdalena Frech of Poland 6-3 6-3.

American Taylor Townsend knocked out Brazilian 19th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia 7-6 (7-1) 7-5 and Swiss 15th seed Belinda Bencic beat Briton Yuriko Miyazaki 6-3 6-3.

with AP