Wozniacki claims win at New Haven

Wozniacki claims win at New Haven

NEW HAVEN - Agence France-Presse
Wozniacki claims win at New Haven

Caroline Wozniacki starts her title defense with a victory over Makarova. AP photo

Caroline Wozniacki launched her bid for a fifth straight New Haven WTA title on Aug. 20 with a 6-3, 6-3 first-round victory over Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova.

Wozniacki, seeded third in a field headed by Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska, needed an hour and 21 minutes to book a second-round clash with Sweden’s Sofia Arvidsson, a 6-4, 6-1 winner over Melanie Oudin of the United States.

A fifth successive title in the hardcourt tune-up for the US Open would put former world number one Wozniacki in elite company. Only Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert have won the same WTA Tour title five or more times in a row.

She improved to 18-0 lifetime at the tournament and extended her career dominance over Makarova, who has not managed to win a set from the Dane in their four meetings.

French Open runner-up Sara Errani also advanced, rallying from 2-5 down in the second set to seal a 6-4, 7-5 victory over American Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova advanced with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues while Russia’s Maria Kirilenko cruised past Israeli Shahar Peer 6-2, 6-2.