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Caroline Wozniacki vs Viktorija Golubic WTA Bastad live stream: Wozniacki continues to chase down first title of 2017 at WTA Bastad

Brendan O'Neill 26 Jul 2017
  • World no. 6 Caroline Wozniacki continues her Ericsson Open campaign against Viktorija Golubic on Thursday
  • Wozniacki vs Golubic Ericsson Open tennis is live from Bastad on Thursday at 12.30pm local/11.30am BST
Caroline Wozniacki. Doha, February 26, 2011. (Photo by Steven Byles)

After a tricky opening match, Ericsson Open star attraction Caroline Wozniacki faces last year’s Gstaad champion Viktorija Golubic in Bastad on Thursday.

Wozniacki vs Golubic Ericsson Open tennis is live from Bastad on Thursday at 12.30pm local/11.30am BST. Watch and bet on tennis live at bet365 > sports > live streaming tennis

Still pursuing her first title of 2017, Caroline Wozniacki faces the attacking backhand of Viktorija Golubic as she tries to book her place in the quarterfinals of the Ericsson Open in Bastad for the first time since 2009.

Runner-up in 2009, Scandinavia’s most famous and successful female player hasn’t appeared at the Ericsson Open since 2011 when she lost in the second round to Sofia Arvidsson but is playing what is already her fourth International of the year in Bastad. 

Always a workhorse, Wozniacki is at her best when she is fit enough to play a lot of tournaments and after her injury issues in 2016, which saw her ranking fall outside the top 70 before a semifinal run at the US Open kickstarted her revival, it’s great to see the Dane able to play a heavy schedule again. Having started the season at world no. 19 after titles in Tokyo and Hong Kong last autumn, Wozniacki is already up to world no. 6 after compiling a 38-14 win-loss record so far in 2017, reaching no fewer than four finals – Doha, Dubai, Miami and Eastbourne – and making the quarterfinals of the French Open and the round of 16 at Wimbledon, losing to Jelena Ostapenko and Coco Vandeweghe respectively. 

Karolina Pliskova in Doha and Eastbourne, Elina Svitolina in Dubai and Johanna Konta in Miami have all stood between Wozniacki and a title so far in 2017, threatening the Dane’s streak of winning at least one title a season every year since 2007, but she has to like her chances in Bastad, where she is the only top-10 player in action.

That said, nothing is ever really easy when a change of surface is involved and Wozniacki certainly had to work hard to start her Ericsson Open campaign with a win. Only arriving in Bastad in Monday, Wozniacki faced Pauline Parmentier in the first round and had to go the distance, eventually prevailing over the French veteran 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 in an hour and 52 minutes after having to come back from 0-2 down in the third set.

‘It’s definitely much different playing on clay [than grass], so the match was a bit complicated,’ Wozniacki said afterwards. 
‘Obviously, it was nice to play in front of the nice Swedish and Danish crowd. It feels like home a bit. I felt the support, which was nice.’

It’s already in some ways an odd decision for Wozniacki to have come back to clay after Wimbledon, adding in an extra surface transition or two – from grass to clay and then to hard courts – ahead of the upcoming US hard-court swing leading up to the US Open, always her most successful Grand Slam. So the Dane will want to get something – ideally her first title of the year – out of her trip to Bastad, but her road through the draw doesn’t look like getting any easier as she prepares to face Viktorija Golubic in the second round on Thursday.

Switzerland’s Golubic is 24, but a late bloomer in the tennis sense, breaking into the top 100 for the first time in 2016. She started last season ranked world no. 166 and winning a $25k ITF title in Hong Kong before successfully qualifying for the Australian Open, where she lost in the first round to Carla Suarez Navarro, but after failed attempts to qualify for Acapulco, Monterrey and Indian Wells she reached the main draw and then the second round in Katowice before she came to my attention for the first time with a sensational Fed Cup weekend. Ranked world no. 129, Golubic rose to the occasion in Switzerland’s tie against Fed Cup powerhouse Czech Republic, who have won the title for five of the past six years. In the absence of Belinda Bencic and with Timea Bacsinzky unable to secure a singles win, Golubic beat then-world no. 18 Karolina Pliskova and then-world no. 33 Barbora Strycova in three sets each, forcing the Czechs to clinch the tie in a live fifth rubber.

It was a significant springboard for Golubic in terms of confidence and profile and she went on to qualify for and win rounds at the Ricoh Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Roland Garros before she made a surprise run at the Ladies Open Gstaad – another post-Wimbledon clay-court event – beating Mona Barthel, Evgeniya Rodina, Carina Witthoeft, Rebeka Masarova and Kiki Bertens to claim her maiden WTA title. Golubic broke into the top 100 as a result, and would end the season just outside the top 50 after she made a second surprise run, this one at the indoor hard-court event in Luxembourg, beating Laura Siegemund, Julia Goerges, Garbine Muguruza (via retirement in the third set) and benefiting from a walkover from Madison Keys to make the final, where she lost to Dominika Cibulkova.

Unfortunately 2017 hasn’t seen Golubic able to back up her results. Coming into Bastad, the Swiss player is just 5-17 this season and hasn’t win back-to-back matches yet, dropping to world no. 73 with her only victories coming against wildcard Cagla Buyukakcay in Dubai, Tsvetana Pironkova in Miami, Siegemund in Biel and Kristina Kucova in the ITF $100k at Ilkley. Golubic did score her best win of the season so far against 30th seed Zhang Shuai in the first round of Wimbledon, but lost to Lesia Tsurenko in the second round at the All England Club before her Gstaad title defense was ended in the very first round by qualifier Antonia Lottner in three tight sets last week.

Golubic will be looking to shake off that Gstaad defeat and try to stabilize her ranking in Bastad, and she made a decent start with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over qualifier Martina Trevisan in the first round to set up Thursday’s clash with Wozniacki. 

Wozniacki has already beaten Golubic once in 2017, taking out the Swiss in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Clay courts are a good surface for the Swiss player – probably a slightly better surface than for Wozniacki – but it would take a incredibly impressive performance of sustained accuracy from Golubic, especially off her lethal but erratic backhand wing, to dictate play against the Dane. Wozniacki has suffered a few defeats to bigger-hitting players at International-level events this year, but none of them was as big a surprise as it appeared on the surface; poor losses for the Dane have been few and far between, and she’s unlikely to suffer one to Golubic in Bastad.     

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Caroline Wozniacki vs Viktorija Golubic WTA Bastad live stream: Wozniacki continues to chase down first title of 2017 at WTA Bastad

World no. 6 Caroline Wozniacki aims to reach the Ericsson Open quarterfinals for the first time in seven years as she faces 2016 Gstaad champion Viktorija Golubic in Bastad.

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