Wozniacki fears Australia hex after Azarenka loss

Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:35am EST
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Caroline Wozniacki said she felt "cursed" at Melbourne Park after losing in straight sets to a resurgent Victoria Azarenka in the Australian Open second round on Thursday.

The eighth-seeded Dane Wozniacki enjoyed making the semi-finals in 2011 but has since suffered diminishing returns in every trip to the year's first grand slam.

She could certainly count herself unlucky to run into fellow former world number one Azarenka so early at Melbourne Park, the Belarusian floating like a mine in the draw, with no seeding and nothing to lose after an injury-blighted 2014.

"Obviously she feels great here," Wozniacki told reporters of two-time champion Azarenka, who was a class above in the 6-4 6-2 win at Margaret Court Arena.

"I think it's a curse I've gotten here. I've made semis, then quarters (2012), then fourth round (2013), then third round (2014), this year second round.

"It's kind of gone that way the last few years. Hopefully I'm going to break that next year and start going the other way.

"I love this tournament and I'm so sad to be out already. Obviously it was a tough draw for both of us. But, you know, she came out on top and played better."

Wozniacki had worked hard to break back into the top 10 last year, reaching the final at the U.S. Open and raising hopes she might be able to compete with the likes of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova after a couple of years in the wilderness.   Continued...

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus hits a return against Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their women's singles second round match at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 22, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria