Former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki was pushed hard by Germany’s Sabine Lisicki at the Australian Open on Tuesday before rallying in the third set to move into the second round.
The Dane, who finished 2010 and 2011 as the world’s top-ranked player, has been struggling this year and was bundled out of the Brisbane International in the first round before falling at the second hurdle in Sydney.
Now ranked 10, her lacklustre form appeared to be continuing on the Hisense Arena at Melbourne Park before she reeled off six third set games in a row to go through 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Wozniacki started badly when Lisicki broke in her first service game, but the Dane broke straight back. In the Melbourne heat, the German broke again to go 4-2 ahead and raced to the first set in 32 minutes.
The Dane gathered her composure and pulled 4-0 clear in the second set as Lisicki made error after error, winning 6-3 to set up a decider.
But Wozniacki’s game fell apart and she quickly went 3-0 down before finding new reserves to win six consecutive games against her wilting opponent and ensure she remained in the tournament.
She next plays either Czech Andrea Hlavackova or Donna Vekic of Croatia.