Wozniacki bemused by progress despite pedigree

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By Greg Stutchbury

"I didn't expect to do that well this early," the 19-year-old told reporters after she beat Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak 6-4 6-2 in their Australian Open first-round match on Wednesday.

"I mean, I'm really happy about the way things are going. Hopefully I can just keep playing better and better."

A look at Wozniacki's background, however, suggests some logic behind her bemusement at her rapid rise in the women's game.

The U.S. Open finalist turned professional in 2005 but did not have a full season on the WTA Tour until 2007.

Two more quickly followed and Wozniacki won three more in 2009 and made five other finals.

One of which was the U.S. Open final when she became the first Dane to make a grand slam final since 1955 before losing to Kim Clijsters.

Wozniacki's father and coach Piotr was a professional soccer player in his native Poland and then Denmark and her mother Anna played volleyball for Poland.

Older brother Patrik, whose exploits on the tennis courts prompted the then seven-year-old Caroline to pick up a racket, is also a professional footballer.


Wozniacki's breakthrough year in 2009 ensured she entered the year's first grand slam at Melbourne Park as one of the favorites, insisted there was no added pressure on her.

"I always just look one match at a time and I want to win. That's my goal," she said. "Then, you know, I try not to put more pressure on myself than I already do."

The Dane faced little pressure from Wozniak Wednesday, dispatching her error-prone Canadian opponent for the sixth time in seven encounters.

She will next meet Julia Goerges in the second round, though the Dane said she knew little about the German's playing style.

"I know her pretty well like a girl, but I haven't seen too many of her matches," said Wozniacki. "But I know she can play on a really high level.

"She has a good serve and she's an aggressive player. It's going to be another tough match."

(Editing by Alastair Himmer)