Caroline Wozniacki Defeats Sabine Lisicki at 2013 Australian Open

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2013

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 29:  Caroline Wozniacki plays a shot during a practice session on December 29, 2012 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki defeated Sabine Lisicki in one of the most anticipated matches of the women's first round at the 2013 Australian Open by a score of 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Wozniacki reached the top spot through consistently strong play at second-level tournaments, but has never excelled in Grand Slam events. So drawing Lisicki, who is ranked 36th, was not only bad luck, but also an ominous sign for her chances in Melbourne.

But the Danish star, and the tournament's No. 10 seed, deserves credit for rising to the occasion. She used her counter-punching style to offset Lisicki's power, which helped the German make deep runs at Wimbledon each of the past two years.

The victory should give Wozniacki an instant boost of confidence heading into the second round. She has reached at least the third round in all five of her Australian Open appearances and is suddenly a strong bet to make it six in a row in a couple of days.

The question, however, continues to center around her ability to win seven straight matches against tough competition to win a major. While knocking off Lisicki is a good sign, she needs to play even better to beat players like Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka.

In some respects, she is in the same boat as Andy Murray was before last season. Her defensive game is strong and she has a solid track record of success, but until she adds more offense into her game, it will be tough to go the distance.

As for Lisicki, she can chalk the loss up as a bad draw, but it's the type of match she must start winning in order to reach the next level in her career. While her potential is obvious, losses like this one show consistency is still a factor working against her.

The women's game is definitely shifting more toward power players, which means her outlook for the rest of the season remains promising. She should still view this loss as a missed opportunity, though, as it was a winnable match.

Lisicki couldn't capitalize and Wozniacki is on to Round 2.