2018 Auckland Classic Pre-Tournament Preview: Wozniacki, Goerges start 2018 in NZ

 

Wozniacki top seed in Auckland.

Caroline Wozniacki will start her 2018 season as per norm in Auckland – Wozniacki will be participating in this tournament for the fourth straight year, with her best result a semifinal loss to Sloane Stephens in 2015. “I really wanted to come back.” Wozniacki said. “The crowds are always so supportive and full right from day one. You don’t get that in many tournaments.”

Wozniacki ended her 2017 season on a high, winning the WTA Finals crown and also reached eight finals throughout the year. She will be gunning for her 12th International title and also to start her Australian Open preparations when the tournament starts on January 2.

1/2 of the 2017 finalists return, Davis to try to defend title

Lauren Davis, 2017 Auckland champion will return to the tournament to try to defend her first WTA title. It won’t be easy with five players ranked above her, and her recent form during the latter part of 2017 suggests it is even more difficult. Having been one of the stars of the first three months amassing a 19-4 record, she only won seven more matches and during this span, even endured a seven match losing streak. Coming back to a place where she has loads of nice memories, can Davis regain her form in New Zealand? We shall see…

The other defending finalist, Ana Konjuh, will be skipping the Australian swing having needed to undergo wrist surgery during the fall part of this year. Speedy recovery, Ana! 🙂

Chasing pack with Goerges, Radwanska, Strycova and other unseeded spoilers

The draw is loaded with other stars, as expected from this extremely popular tournament. Julia Goerges is the No.2 seed here – the German had a fantastic 2017 season, arguably even better than her breakout year in 2012. Goerges reached five finals, including titles in Moscow and Zhuhai, ending the year on a nine-match losing streak and reaching a career-high ranking of No.14.

It has been the reverse for Agnieszka Radwanska this year though – the No.4 seed had her worst year-end ranking since wayyyyy back in 2006! Though it definitely was one of the worst years of her career, this can be partially attributed to Aga having to go through 3 viral illnesses this year, and a foot injury as well. Radwanska had been training hard in Dubai and will look to get her season off to a bang in Auckland where she will be aiming for a maiden, elusive Grand Slam title.

The likes of Barbora Strycova, Mona Barthel, Yulia Putintseva and Donna Vekic round off the top eight seeds in Auckland. International tournaments are prone to wacky results so be sure to look out for these lower-seeded players. Other unseeded players to keep an eye out for are Marketa Vondrousova, Beatriz Haddad Maia and Petra Martic.

Full entry list here

Thanks for reading! 🙂

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