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Australian OpenSportTennis

Second seed Wozniacki battles back from the brink

Caroline Wozniacki saved two match points before advancing to the third round

Second seed Caroline Wozniacki saved two match points as she battled back from 5-1 down in the deciding set to beat Melbourne Park debutante Jana Fett 3-6 6-2 7-5 in the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.

Former world number one Wozniacki was simply outplayed by the Croatian for large parts of the match but rallied when the 21-year-old blinked and knocked off six straight games on the trot avert the upset and claim her place in the third round.

“That was crazy, I don’t know how I got back into the match,” said a relieved Wozniacki.

“I’m very proud of the way I came back. It was definitely very difficult. Definitely wasn’t my best match, especially in the beginning.

“All of a sudden seeing myself down, almost out of the tournament, I started playing better and started really playing the tennis that I wanted to play.”

Elsewhere in the women’s draw, seed slayers Belinda Bencic and Zhang Shuai were brought back down to earth on Wednesday as they both failed to follow up their first-round exploits.

Swiss Bencic, who knocked out last year’s runner-up Venus Williams on a day of shocks on Monday, slumped to a 6-1 6-3 defeat by Thai qualifier Luksika Kumkhum.

Zhang, conqueror of US Open champion Sloane Stephens in round one, was also toppled by a qualifier in the shape of Czech Republic’s Denisa Allertova. Allertova won 6-4 7-6(5).

With 15-year-old Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk also getting through it means three qualifiers have made the third round in the bottom half of the wide open women’s draw.

Timea Babos, who put paid to the hopes of a third American seed, CoCo Vandeweghe, in the first round is in action later on Wednesday.

For former world number seven Bencic, now down at 78 after battling back from wrist surgery, it was a sudden comedown after the highs of Monday when she outplayed seven-times grand slam champion Williams.

“It was not the issue that I was still thinking about the Venus win,” the 20-year-old said. “I had re-set and focused but it was a tough second round. I’ve played her a few times and it’s always been really difficult.

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