Dubai: World No.11 Caroline Wozniacki admitted it was not easy to come back against Germany’s Sabine Lisicki 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 in their first round match at the Dubai Tennis Stadium on Tuesday.
“I have had to fight pretty hard against her quite a few times,” said Wozniacki, who now leads Lisicki 4-2 on head-to-heads. “I know she was going to come out hot and just go for her shots, and I felt like I was just a step behind. I couldn’t really do what I wanted from my backhand side, and I was playing a little too short.
“In the second set I started serving really well, I was really pleased with my serves, and I got a lot of her returns back deep, and all of a sudden the game was different. I started attacking more from my backhand side onto her backhand and started to make her run a little bit.”
Wozniacki will now face Germany’s Annika Beck in the second round after Beck, one of four qualifiers, beat Australia’s Sam Stosur 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the first round.
“There are no easy matches here,” said Wozniacki. “I knew that it doesn’t matter who you play here. It’s going to be tough. It was nice to win this one, so now it’s onwards and upwards.”
But asked if her current form is comparable to when she won here in Dubai in 2011, Wozniacki was hesitant. “I don’t think you can really compare and it’s not fair to compare because I think everyone is always improving,” she said. “Everyone is trying to find a way to beat you, and you always need to change a few things up in your game — you need to step it up sometimes.
“I think I’m just happy to be through this round. The past is the past and I’m really proud of it but now is now and I want to keep playing well.”
Meanwhile, Lisicki said she did well against Wozniacki despite her recent shoulder injury. “I’m definitely disappointed but I still see it as a positive,” said Lisicki. “I didn’t have a racquet in my hand for more than two weeks. I practiced four days and did a lot of rehab to be able to come here.
“I’m very happy I was able to play that well. It wasn’t enough to play the two whole sets that way yet, but in general I’m pretty satisfied with the way I started and went into the match, so that’s definitely something that I can build on.”