Caroline Wozniacki has conceded five games in two hard court matches against 27-year-old American Madison Brengle
It Should be Straightforward for Wozniacki
The first match of the season is always a difficult one, but the Dane couldn’t really have chosen a better opponent herself. On paper, this opening match for the Dane in Auckland has the look of a title holding boxer hand-picking an opponent, ahead of a big unification fight.
Brengle, #84 in the world, had a good but unspectacular season in 2017–winning on clay in Charlottesville (justifying her #1 seeding) and making the last 32 at Wimbledon, where Caroline Garcia ended her challenge. This sums up Brengle really, she struggles to cope with top 20 players. It is hard to see her bettering that record in Auckland.
Wozniacki needs to avoid repeat of Wuhan
You only need to go back four tournaments for a warning sign that Wozniacki should not underestimate opponents. The dangerous 22-year-old Grecian, Maria Sakkari, upset Caroline Wozniacki in the 1st round at Wuhan.
This shock came after the Dane strode to the title in Tokyo. Technically, Wozniacki is in the same position here. Her last competitive match came against Venus Williams in the WTA Finals. Granted there has been a great deal more recovery time.
The Journey to a Slam, starts with a Single Win
Given the blistering end to last season – all eyes will be on Caroline Wozniacki at the start of a new one. Can she finally break that Slam duck? All signs are positive, but the world, will want to get in as much match practice as possible before heading to Flanders Park.
Wozniacki could return to World #1
An early tournament victory would be just the tonic for Wozniacki. It would send out a clear sign to her rivals that she is one of the ones to beat at this year’s Australian Open. It is entirely possible that a good start to the season could mean that Wozniacki could take place in Melbourne as the world #1, depending on what happens elsewhere. Now that would be something!