/ Tennis

Wozniacki learns from McIlroy approach

Updated: Thursday, 19 Jan 2012 08:30

Caroline Wozniacki says she has learned from her boyfriend Rory McIlroy's approach to golf
Caroline Wozniacki says she has learned from her boyfriend Rory McIlroy's approach to golf

World number one Caroline Wozniacki believes parallels can be drawn between the mental approach required in tennis and golf having observed boyfriend Rory McIlroy at close quarters.

Wozniacki and McIlroy, the US Open champion, became an item last summer and have since tried out each other's specialist sport.

And while Wozniacki admits she remains a golf novice - "when I start playing, it goes right, left, up and down, I get so frustrated" - she has noticed areas of McIlroy's psychological approach which struck a chord.

After winning through to the third round of the Australian Open today with a hard-fought 6-1 7-6 (7/4) defeat of Anna Tatishvili, she said: "It's that you can't really do anything about the past, you just need to look forward.

"You have a tournament now and you want to do your best. If it goes well then great, if not you have the next one.

"It's like tennis, it's important not to dwell too much in the past."

While McIlroy made a major breakthrough last year by winning the US Open, shortly after imploding at the Masters, Wozniacki is still seeking her first grand slam title.

And she appeared in trouble today when after winning the first set with ease she fell 4-1 down in the second with Tatishvili growing in self-belief.

But the Dane found the reserves to level it up and take it to a tie-break which she won to advance to a meeting with Monica Niculescu.

"I pulled through," she said. "I thought the first set I played pretty well, I stayed aggressive and made her run.

"In the second she went for more shots and I stepped back a little bit and she punished me for that."

Earlier today, Kim Clijsters and Li Na, last year's champion and runner-up respectively, eased into the third round, dropping just five games between them.

Li was first on Rod Laver Arena and brushed aside the challenge of home hope Olivia Rogowska 6-2 6-2.

Clijsters was even more ruthless in dispatching Frenchwoman Stephanie Foretz Gacon 6-0 6-1 in a 47-minute mis-match.

Li, the fifth seed and last year's French Open champion, dropped serve early but responded with three breaks of her own to cruise through the first set.

And there was never any chance of a comeback as she claimed the Australian wild card's serve twice more to advance in just 62 minutes.

Clijsters also broke five times as she again proved the hip injury which forced her out of the Brisbane International is on the mend.

"I felt like I was hitting the ball well, seeing the ball well, I'm happy with the win," she said.

Clijsters will next meet Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova, who beat Lesia Tsurenko 4-6 6-4 6-3, while Li takes on Anabel Medina Garrigues, a 6-1 6-0 victor over Olga Govortsova.

Tenth seed Francesca Schiavone is out, however, after losing 6-4 6-3 to Romina Oprandi.

"It was a really bad match for me," admitted the Italian.

Peng Shuai, seeded 16, is also out after going down 6-2 6-4 to Czech Iveta Benesova but eighth seed Agnieszka Radwanska and 13th seed Jelena Jankovic and Daniela Hantuchova both advanced.

Third seed Victoria Azarenka again looked impressive in crushing Australian Casey Dellacqua. The Belarus player broke serve six times in a one-sided encounter to cruise through 6-1 6-0 in just 57 minutes.