x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Caroline Wozniacki down plays rank; nothing easy for Victoria Azarenka

Caroline Wozniacki down plays her ranking while Victoria Azarenka concedes that her path to being world No 1 has not gotten any easier.

Caroline Wozniacki has a group chasing her for the world No 1 spot, which she down played the importance of.
Caroline Wozniacki has a group chasing her for the world No 1 spot, which she down played the importance of.

Caroline Wozniacki

The world's top-ranked woman has attempted to play down the significance of her position despite edging closer to retaining it with a routine win over Monica Niculescu. Caroline Wozniacki is still seeking her first grand slam crown and must reach at least the quarter-finals in Melbourne to stand any chance of staying ahead of the chasing pack. "I want to try to do my best here and whatever happens, happens," she said. "I have proven myself for the last two years. I have finished No 1 twice in a row. And for me the most important thing is to keep on improving. If I do that I know I can play on a very high level. If you win tournaments, then the ranking will be there automatically."

Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka's pursuit of ousting Caroline Wozniacki at the top of the world rankings may still be on track, but she has conceded things are not all going her way. Following her 6-2, 6-4 victory over Germany's Mona Barthel, she said was annoyed with herself for needing five match points to seal the victory. "I've been playing in the end not brave enough to finish the match. … I had to get a little" angry, she said.

Kim Clijsters

The defending champion, Kim Clijsters, expressed her relief after she advanced to the fourth round with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Daniela Hantuchova at Hisense Arena. The former world No 1 and present No 14, who has been struggling with her form, said: "I won, so that's the most important thing. I definitely wasn't playing my best tennis. The second set was much better. In the first I was definitely struggling to get a feel for it. It felt like a long break, as well; I had a day off yesterday and a night match today so I had to find my aggressive footwork. But I was able to win the important points and when you aren't playing well it sometimes comes down to playing the important points well. The second set was much better and I am pleased I finished better than I started."

Andy Murray

Britain's top player is determined that his Australian Open chances will not be ruined by Michael Llodra today. Andy Murray said he will play the third-round match on his terms. "There's more than one way of doing that," Murray said. "It's not about just going out and hitting the ball as hard as you can and trying to be aggressive. For me, playing closer to the baseline is a good sign as you are taking time away from the opponent. If you stand one or two metres farther behind the baseline you're giving them more time on the ball."

Roger Federer

Roger Federer's defeat of the towering Croatian Ivo Karlovic, the man with the fastest serve in the game, was his 999th singles match.

Ivo Karlovic

"There were some positive things in todays match. Gaining 2k followers on Twitter is one of them." Karlovic, on Twitter, looking on the bright side after his loss to Federer.

Novak Djokovic

Playing on what is becoming his favourite court should help him in his third round clash against France's Nicolas Mahut at the Australian Open today, Novak Djokovic said. "He's somebody that prefers faster courts and surfaces [but] I think the surface here is a bit slower and the bounce is a little bit higher, so maybe it's more suitable to my style of the game,"Djokovic said.