NBA

Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki serves against Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova in the fourth round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.               AFP
 

Woz sails to Aussie Open quarters
(Associated Press) - January 22, 2018 - 12:00am

MELBOURNE – Caroline Wozniacki is continuing to cash in on her second chance at the Australian Open, reaching the quarterfinals here for the first time since 2012 with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Magdalena Rybarikova on Sunday.

After her close call in the second round  – she had to save two match points and come back from 5-1 down in the third set  – No. 2-ranked Wozniacki said she was “playing with the house money” and had nothing to lose.

She has won both matches since in straight sets and will next play Carla Suarez Navarro, who came back from a set and 4-1 down to beat No. 32 Anett Kontaveit 4-6, 6-4, 8-6.

After a tight tussle in the opening four games against No. 19-seeded Rybarikova, a Wimbledon semifinalist last year, Wozniacki dominated the fourth-round match and conceded only six points in the second set. She even tried a between-the-legs “tweener” from near the baseline for the first time in a tour-level match. She didn’t win the point, but said it was progress.

“I think you can tell my confidence is high,” Wozniacki, who finished last season by winning the WTA Finals title, said in an on-court TV interview. “I tried a tweener today and it went in.”

She looked at a replay on the stadium screen and joked “I’m admiring myself there.”

Sixth-seeded Marin Cilic collected his 100th Grand Slam match win as he advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (0), 7-6 (3) victory over No. 10 Pablo Carreno Busta.

“It was a big battle. I was really relieved I played such a good tiebreaker at the end,” the 2014 US Open winner said. Of his major milestone, Cilic said he hadn’t been aware of it before the match “but it’s beautiful to hear.

“I had the 300th win of my career at the US Open in 2014, so this is also beautiful one. I hope I’m going to continue and gather three more here.”                          

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