NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nice and easy works fine for top seed Caroline Wozniacki, who said Thursday she is happy with her smooth ride through the first two rounds at the U.S. Open where a potential match-up with Maria Sharapova looms.
The 20-year-old Dane, runner-up in Flushing Meadows last year, made easy work of her first two opponents and has dropped just two games in the year’s last grand slam.
But despite the lack of a challenge, she considers herself tournament tough and shot down a notion she might not be ready for a possible fourth-round showdown against Sharapova, the U.S. champion in 2006.
“I’ve played tough matches in the previous weeks. I’ve been playing really great tennis. I’m feeling good, so no worries,” Wozniacki said after blanking unseeded Chang Kai-chen of Taiwan 6-0 6-0 to reach the third round. “For me it’s just about winning and getting through to the next rounds.”
Wozniacki has been red-hot in recent months, posting a 16-1 record since Wimbledon with titles in Copenhagen, Montreal and New Haven.
Chang, 19, said she had never been beaten love-love on the professional level but was not embarrassed by the drubbing and would use it as a learning experience.
“It’s like playing against a wall,” said Chang. “She is a very consistent player. She doesn’t give you any points or mistakes. Yeah, she is a wall.”
Wozniacki had only seven winners but wore down her opponent with her unerring groundstrokes while waiting for Chang to misfire. The Taiwanese complied with 26 unforced errors.
“I don’t give any free points away,” said the world number two. “I think that’s one of my strengths.”
The Dane’s next opponent will be 77th-ranked Chan Yung-jan, another player from Taiwan.
Wozniacki, aiming for her first grand slam title and a $1 million bonus that would come with it since she won this summer’s U.S. Open Series standings, said she was feeling fresh, confident and eager for the upcoming challenges.
“When you’re winning, you have that confidence. You go out on the court and you know what to do. You’re in your own bubble,” she said. “That’s what I’m aiming for.”
Reporting by Larry Fine, Editing by Frank Pingue