Wozniacki relaxed after emphatic start to 2018

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Caroline Wozniacki feels the pressure is off for the rest of the season after winning her first grand slam at the Australian Open and returning to the top of the world rankings.

The Dane defeated Simona Halep in three sets on Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park last month, finally joining the ranks of major champions after losing her maiden slam decider against Kim Clijsters at the US Open in 2009.

She lost to Daria Kasatkina in the quarter-finals of the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy upon her return to action, but the 27-year-old expects to play with plenty of freedom throughout the 2018 campaign.  

"I'm a competitor, I hate to lose and I love to win and I think that's motivating me," she told WTA Media. 

"I love to stand there and be the last person... with the trophy. 

"And I think obviously it's hard right after a grand slam when you've won and it's been taking a lot out of me. 

"But I'm excited to be here and I'm excited for the rest of the season. 

"But I think no matter what happens for the rest of the season, it's still going to be a very successful season. 

"But having the chance now, with three more grand slams to go, and I'm excited to see what they'll bring."

Wozniacki topped the world rankings from October 2010 to February 2011 and again between February 2011 and January 2012, having briefly been deposed by Clijsters.

After that period of dominance, it has taken her six years to return to the summit, but she claims holding on to her status as the game's top player is not a major motivation. 

"It's an added bonus and obviously it's very special," she said.

"I think, to get my first grand slam and then reach number one at the same time was... I couldn't have scripted it any better. 

"It was everything that I could have hoped for. And I think now, the ranking and obviously whatever happens for the rest of the year, I think it's a little less important. 

"Obviously I want to stay number one and I want to stay there for a long as possible. 

"But at the end of the day I think the fact that I proved myself that I could make it back there was bigger for me. 

"After so many years, to come back to that place, I think was more special and something that I cherish a lot."