CAROLINE WOZNIACKI showed merciless disregard for both home hopes and a compelling back-story to bring down Naomi Broady's Wimbledon campaign with a straight-sets victory.
Former world No.1 Wozniacki is enjoying a resurgence of form after her public split from golfer Rory McIlroy, and reached Wimbledon's third round for the first time since 2011. Broady lost her LTA funding after a picture of her posing next to a condom machine on a night out surfaced on the internet seven years ago. She admitted she would "laugh in someone's face" if the LTA tried to claim credit for her first-round victory over world No.92 Babos.
Conceding 147 ranking places to 23-year-old Wozniacki proved too compelling a chasm, however, as the world No.16 eased through.
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A last-minute switch to Court No.1 could have been to blame for Broady's twitchy start. Tara Moore's truncated two-day defeat to Vera Zvonareva held up the play on Court Two to such an extent that Broady's match slotted across. And the Stockport native took too long to find her composure, allowing Wozniacki an immediate break for a 3-0 lead that ultimately put paid to the first set.
Broady's punchy ground strokes, power serve and gutsy attitude meant she was not about to roll over however, holding for 3-1. She then produced two aces to hold at 4-2, the second fired down to seal the game.
As she lined up that second ace, a cheeky spectator cried out "I love you Naomi" - after the game-winner, Broady offered a wave in her admirer's direction.
By now the home crowd were revved up as much by Broady's lively personality as her back-story and positive play. Wozniacki was less moved however, and closed out the set 6-3.
The experienced Dane then stole another immediate break to open the second set, handing Broady a seriously daunting prospect. As with the first set, Broady brushed off the initial break to hold her second service game.
Wozniacki held without issue though, before breaking again in what proved the decisive blow for both set and match. Refusing to crumble, Broady held serve for 5-2, but Wozniacki had little trouble serving out the tie.
Meanwhile, Petra Kvitova is relishing a third-round showdown against Venus Williams. The sixth-seeded Pole, winner at the All England Club three years ago, saw off Germany's Mona Barthel in straight sets on No.1 Court.
Williams, the five-time former Wimbledon singles champion, had earlier yesterday survived a scare to fend off the challenge of Japan's Kurumi Nara to come through 7-6 (7/4) 6-1 on Court 2.
The duo are now likely to come head-to-head tomorrow, with Kvitova holding a 3-1 advantage from previous meetings, the last earlier this year. "She is a big champion here as well, likes to play on the grass, and I am totally the same," Kvitova, a former world No.2.
"I am looking forward for this match. I think it is going to be a great fight. We played in Doha [in February] of course, and before then Tokyo, they have always been very tough matches, so I am expecting the same."
Kvitova added: "The key I think is going to be very important to stay confident and play for every point, because she can play really well. Venus plays flat shots like me on the grass, and of course she has a big serve, so I will need to return that."
Second seed Li Na, however, had no problem with her early start out on Court 2 as she breezed past Yvonne Meusburger in just over an hour. The 2014 Australian Open champion disposed of the Austrian 6-2, 6-2.
Li will take things as they come, aiming to go better than her three-time quarter-final appearances at the All England Club. "It is easy to say, tough to do," she said of her own Wimbledon hopes.
"You can pretty easily think about second week, but for me, if I want to push myself, at least I have to win another match and to come to the second week and then to think about [getting further]."
Li will face the Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova after she knocked out Russian Elena Vesnina, the 32nd seed, 6-4, 6-2.