Wozniacki relieved after great comeback
Trailing 1-5 in final set, the second seed turns the tables to win 7-5
A relieved Caroline Wozniacki hailed her greatest comeback yesterday after saving two match-points at 1-5 in the final set to keep her Grand Slam dream alive against little-known Croat Jana Fett.
On a day when the other women's top seeds such as Elina Svitolina and Jelena Ostapenko advanced to the Australian Open's third round, Wozniacki narrowly escaped joining 12th seed Julia Goerges, whose 15-match winning streak was halted by France's Alize Cornet.
Second-seeded Wozniacki eventually prevailed 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 on a searing Rod Laver Arena, after an epic battle lasting two hour and 31 minutes against the world No. 119.
"At 5-1, 40-15, I felt, like, I was one foot out of the tournament," admitted Wozniacki.
"She served a great serve down the 'T', as well. It was just slightly out. I was kind of lucky."
The Dane reeled off four points in a row to get to 5-2 and then never looked back, racing through the next five games in just 20 minutes.
It was tough on the plucky 21-year-old Fett who, in sight of the greatest victory of her fledgling career, melted away in the centre court's heat.
"I felt her tighten up just slightly. I thought to myself, you know what, at this point, make her win it," said Wozniacki.
"When I got to 5-2, I said, okay, I'm still alive. Just try and stay aggressive. That was that."
Asked if this was the greatest comeback of her career, in her 43rd Grand Slam, Wozniacki was unequivocal.
"Yeah, definitely. I'm very proud of the way I came back," said the 27-year-old, who will meet Holland's Kiki Bertens in the third round tomorrow.
"It was very hard, and she was playing well," she added of Fett who was in the second round of a Slam for the first time.
"All of a sudden, seeing myself down, almost out of the tournament, I started playing the tennis that I wanted to play."
After being a point away from becoming another big-name casualty, Wozniacki turned emotional. She said: "That was crazy, I don't how I got back in the match."
She reeled off 10 points in a row from two match-points down to ignite her recovery.
"I think she suddenly realised at 5-1 what was happening and I just had to attack and take advantage of it."
Meanwhile, Thailand's Luksika Kumkhum, 24, did Asia proud when she beat Switzerland's Belinda Bencic, who had defeated fifth seed Venus Williams in Monday's first round.
Luksika, who won 6-1, 6-3 to reach the third round of a Major for the first time, will meet Croatia's world No. 42 Petra Martic tomorrow. - AFP, REUTERS