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Wimbledon: Wozniacki is out to regain the world number one spot

 

By Robert Jones

Caroline Wozniacki overcame a second-set wobble to book her spot in the Wimbledon second round. The Danish fifth seed beat Hungary's world number 42 Timea Babos 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in an hour and 42 minutes on Centre Court.

"I feel like I'm in good shape but the first round is always tricky. She definitely gave me a lot of competition," said Wozniacki.

"I love playing on Centre Court. It's a very special feeling to be out there. I love playing on grass and I love Wimbledon. I'm happy to be through and hopefully I can get some good recovery."

Wozniacki says she is fighting hard to get back to becoming the World number one.

"I think everyone wants to be number one," added Wozniacki.

"I think there's pressure on you whether you're number one or number five in the world. You have pressure. It's all about how you handle it."

Meanwhile, Angelique Kerber admits it has been tough at the top but the German is refusing to give up her current number one status.

She stepped in for Serena Williams on the second day's play on Centre Court in a role traditionally allocated to the defending champion. Williams, heavily pregnant, is at home in the United States.

As the current rankings leader, and runner-up to Williams last year, Kerber deserved the opportunity, but it has been a tough season for a player who enjoyed a stellar 2016, and it was a tonic to come through her opener.

She had a comfortable enough start in beating Ecuadorian-born American Irina Falconi 6-4 6-4, and then outlined why holding the world-leading ranking was such a challenge.

"There is much more expectation, much more pressure, from me, from outside, from everything," Kerber said. "You have many more things to do.

"I'm still enjoying it. Of course, there are things that are a little bit tough and hard to do, as well. I think now I can say that it's easier to get there than to stay there."

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the 16th seed, became the biggest casualty of the women's championships so far when she lost a three-set thriller to Arina Rodionova.

Katie Boulter was, meanwhile, "devastated" after coming within whisker of a shock victory on her Wimbledon debut.

Boulter looked set to defy the 178 places between her and Christina McHale in the rankings when she led the American by a set and later by a break in the decider only to lose 3-6 7-5 6-3.

"I'm completely devastated in this one moment," Boulter said.

"I'm sure in the next couple of days I will reflect on it a little bit more. Of course I'm proud to represent my country and to give my all. That's where I'm at right now."

Belfast Telegraph

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