January 16, 2019 / 7:37 AM / a year ago

Wozniacki sets up potential showdown with Sharapova

Tennis - Australian Open - Second Round - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, January 16, 2019. Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki reacts during the match against Sweden's Johanna Larsson. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki set up a potential third-round showdown with Maria Sharapova after easing past Johanna Larsson 6-1 6-3 in a one-sided clash at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

Third seeded Wozniacki took just over an hour to secure her second consecutive straight-sets win for a possible match-up between two former world number one players against Sharapova who plays Rebecca Peterson in the second round.

Wozniacki made just 12 unforced errors in her second round match against a player who constantly switched up her tactics in an ultimately unsuccessful bid to break down the brick wall defence of her higher-ranked opponent.

Wozniacki wobbled early in the second set, after being unable to convert a series of break points in the opening game, before settling back into her rhythm and running away with the match.

“I thought it was a fine match,” Wozniacki, who is battling rheumatoid arthritis, told reporters. “I think she stepped it up a little bit in the second set. I think I served well.”

Wozniacki has been in the top echelon of women’s tennis for a decade but won her first Grand Slam singles title at the start of 2018.

Reporting by Jonathan Barrett in Melbourne; editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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