Caroline Wozniacki made an encouraging start to her Australian Open women's singles campaign on Monday, getting the better of Mihaela Buzarnescu in straight sets.
Although the Dane - seeded second at Melbourne Park - was a strong favourite for her first-round match, world number 60 Buzarnescu represented a potentially dangerous opponent after finishing 2017 in superb form on the ITF Challenger circuit and making the final of last week's Hobart International.
Buzarnescu produced flashes of brilliance on Margaret Court Arena, but a lack of consistency ensured she was soundly beaten as Wozniacki triumphed 6-2 6-3 in an hour and 11 minutes.
"She's a really great player. I knew it was going to be tough," said Wozniacki, who is seeking to end a long wait for her first grand slam title, in an on-court interview following her triumph.
Wozniacki did not have things all her own way, particularly in a second set that saw her rival break twice in succession having been 2-0 down. However, while the world number two kept her error count to a minimum, Buzarnescu racked up a host of avoidable mistakes. After getting back on serve at 3-3 in set two, Wozniacki raced to the winning post in clinical fashion and celebrated victory from her first match point when a Buzarnescu lob drifted wide.
Wozniacki  bt Buzarnescu 6-2 6-3
Wozniacki – 12/8
Buzarnescu – 17/33
Wozniacki – 0/0
Buzarnescu – 2/2
BREAK POINTS WON
Wozniacki – 6/6
Buzarnescu – 3/4
FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Wozniacki – 73
Buzarnescu – 57
PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Wozniacki – 60/54
Buzarnescu – 42/22
Wozniacki – 56
Buzarnescu – 34