Birmingham: Caroline Wozniacki gets ousted in her first grass match since 2019

Wozniacki picked up a two-set defeat to Elise Mertens in the Birmingham first round.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Birmingham: Caroline Wozniacki gets ousted in her first grass match since 2019
© Getty Images Sport - Paul Harding

Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki didn't impress in her grass season opener as the former world No. 1 got bounced by Elise Mertens in the Birmingham first round. 

Wozniacki, who received a main draw wildcard into Birmingham to play her first grass tournament since 2019, won a total of five games against Mertens as the fifth-seeded Belgian ousted the Dane 6-4 6-1. 

Although Wozniacki was a wildcard and a Mertens top-5 seed, on paper it was a close matchup. But on the court, Wozniacki didn't really stand much of a chance against Mertens, who needed an hour and 31 minutes to complete a two-set win over the 2018 Australian Open champion.

Caroline Wozniacki and Elise Mertens
Caroline Wozniacki and Elise Mertens© Getty Images Sport - Paul Harding
 

In the Birmingham round-of-16, Mertens plays against either Karolina Pliskova or Caroline Dolehide.

How Mertens beat Wozniacki in Birmingham?

Mertens came out firing, earning back-to-back breaks in the third and fifth games for a 4-1 lead. While Wozniacki managed to get one break back in the sixth game, it wasn't enough after Mertens held on to her serve in the eighth and 10th games. 

After sealing the first set, the second set also started with Mertens claiming back-to-back breaks and going 4-0 up. With Mertens leading 5-1 up in the second set and Wozniacki serving to stay in the match, the fifth-seeded Belgian got her fifth break of the match to complete a very routine win over the 2018 Australian Open champion.

For 28-year-old Mertens, this was her first win over Wozniacki. Before Wozniacki retired from pro tennis in 2020, she played against Mertens twice and claimed two wins - the Dane beat Mertens in Bastad in 2017 and also claimed a win over the Belgian en route to winning her first Grand Slam title at the 2018 Australian Open. 

Wozniacki undoubtedly didn't play very well against Mertens but it should be noted that it was her first match on grass since 2019 and unretiring. 

Caroline Wozniacki Elise Mertens
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