Caroline Wozniacki is continuing to cash in on her second chance at the Australian Open, reaching the quarterfinals for the first time since 2012 with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Magdalena Rybaricova on Sunday.
After her close call in the second round — she had to save two match points and come back from 5-1 down in the third set — No. 2-ranked Wozniacki said she was "playing with the house money" and had nothing to lose.
She has won both matches since in straight sets and will next play Carla Suarez Navarro, who came back from a set and 4-1 down to beat No. 32 Anett Kontaveit 4-6, 6-4, 8-6.
After a tight tussle in the opening four games against No. 19-seeded Rybaricova, a Wimbledon semifinalist last year, Wozniacki dominated the fourth-round match. She even tried a between-the-legs "tweener" from near the baseline for the first time in a tour-level match. She didn't win the point, but said it was progress.
"I think you can tell my confidence is high," she said in an on-court TV interview. "I tried a tweener today and it went in."
She looked at a replay on the stadium screen and joked "I'm admiring myself there."
Wozniacki could return to the top ranking if she reaches the semifinals at least and a combination of other results go her way.
She has never won a Grand Slam singles title but lost the U.S. Open final twice — to Kim Clijsters in 2009 and to Serena Williams in 2014.
(With AP Inputs)