Only days after her New Year’s Eve engagement to golfer Rory McIlroy, Caroline Wozniacki opened her season yesterday with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Julia Goerges of Germany in the first round of the Apia International in Sydney, Australia.
Wozniacki withdrew from the Brisbane International last week after hurting her right shoulder in practice and struggled early on against Goerges, who was replacing the injured Sloane Stephens in the draw.
Another former world No. 1, Jelena Jankovic lost 6-4, 6-2 to Ekaterina Makarova of Russia in the first round earlier yesterday.
Fifth seed Angelique Kerber of Germany beat Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 7-6 (7/5), 7-5 to move into the second round in Sydney, one of the final warm-up tournaments for the Australian Open which starts next week.
Kerber next faces Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, who beat qualifier Victoria Duval of the US 6-1, 6-3.
In other first-round matches, Lucie Safarova beat 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 6-4 and Bethanie Mattek-Sands defeated Eugenie Bouchard 6-4, 6-3.
Also advancing was Lauren Davis, Varvara Lepchenko and Tsvetana Pironkova.
In the first round of the doubles, Taiwan’s Chan Hao-ching teamed up with Liezel Huber of the US to defeat Varvara Lepchenko of the US and Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-4.
Chan and Huber face a tough task in the second round as they face No. 1 seeds Italian duo Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the world.
The Hobart International experienced another injury setback yesterday when fifth-seeded Flavia Pennetta withdrew citing a wrist injury, a day after Venus Williams pulled out following her run to the final at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand.
Top seed Samantha Stosur needed five match points before beating qualifier Madison Brengle of the US 6-7 (4/7), 6-1, 7-6 (7/5) in a match interrupted twice by rain, while eighth seed Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia had a 7-5, 6-3 win over Annika Beck of Germany and Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium advanced when Britain’s Laura Robson retired in the second set.
Robson won the first set 6-4, but was down a break at 2-0 when she retired in the second.
In other first-round matches in Hobart, Spanish qualifier Estrella Cabeza Candela beat Karin Knapp of Italy 7-5, 6-4, Australian wild-card Casey Dellacqua beat Belgian qualifier Alison van Uytvanck 6-4, 6-4 and Zhang Shuai had a 6-3, 6-1 win in an all-Chinese match against Zheng Jie.
In Auckland, New Zealand, 21-year-old Jack Sock of the US, ranked the world No. 100, advanced to the second round of the Heineken Open with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Adrian Mannarino of France.
Sock, who won the 2011 US Open mixed doubles title with Melanie Oudin, served 11 aces in the match.
Also yesterday, Santiago Giraldo of Colombia beat Albert Montanes of Spain 6-1, 7-6 (7/3).
Additional reporting by staff writer