The top seed Caroline Wozniacki won her first round match convincingly against American Madison Brengle in the Auckland Classic on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old Dane needed 58 minutes to crush Brengle 6-3, 6-0 and set up a meeting against Croatia’s Petra Martic next after she defeated Czech player Marketa Vondrousova 7-6(2), 6-3 earlier in the day.
Should Wozniacki go on and win the Auckland event she will have a chance to usurp world number one Simona Halep in the rankings.
Wozniacki has never won the tournament in Auckland but did reach the final in 2015.
After a tight first set with one service break in the sixth game, Wozniacki went on to win seven games in a row for the victory.
In an interview after her triumph, the Dane said once she got her rhythm going she played well and was happy with how things worked out.
”I thought I played pretty well, especially considering it’s the first match back of the year,“ Wozniacki told reporters. ”It took me a couple of games to kind of just get the rhythm and then I started playing better and better.
“I‘m just trying to get my legs moving, trying to make the right decisions, wait for the right shots to play aggressive and go for it, and find the right balance of offence and defence.”
Second seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland has to work hard to battle past Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 to reach the next round.
In a tough first round match, Czech third seed Barbora Strycova got past Italy’s Sara Errani 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-4 to set up a second-round meeting with Sweden’s Johanna Larsson.
Defending champion and fifth seed Lauren Davis crashed 6-1 6-2 to countryman American Sachia Vickery.
Two other seeded players were sent packing, sixth and seventh seeds Yulia Putintseva and Mona Barthel were thumped by Belgian qualifier Ysaline Bonaventure and Varvara Lepchenko of Uzbekistan respectively.