Caroline Wozniacki talks to The Tennis Space about being “a target” for other players, why she is not jealous of other players, and why she did not expect her relationship with the golfer Rory McIlroy to become such big news (“I was teasing him, saying, ‘that’s how it is when you go out with a superstar.'”)
For 2012, would you take a repeat of your 2011 performances? Yes, I would, definitely. I think six titles and having the number one ranking for so long, it’s definitely something I’d like to do for many years.
What about swapping it with the year Sam Stosur had, for example? I’m happy with my year as well. I think I would like to keep my year but at the same time I would like to win a grand slam so we both have something special.
Looking at Stosur and Li Na win grand slam titles, did you feel any jealousy? I think they deserve it. They played very well for those two weeks that the grand slams have been on. I had my chances, especially at the Australian Open. I think it could have been maybe different if I had made the final (she lost to Li Na in the semis), who knows, but they are both older than me and have had more tries. I still have more years in me so I’ll just keep trying.
You kick yourself about that one? It’s definitely the one that was the hardest to get through. It was hurting, especially at the beginning.
What do you need to improve to win a slam? I think the thing is, we play the same players all year and I’ve beaten the players who are winning slams and I’ve lost to them as well. It’s all about having the momentum in two weeks. I think I can always improve and all the players keep improving, so it’s about raising the level and raising the bar all the time. As number one you’re always a target so they always try to find new ways to beat you and they have nothing to lose so you need to be on your toes all the time.
Could you reduce your schedule, do a Serena Williams? I think it’s very difficult to compare us two because we’re completely different players. She doesn’t need to play matches; she can have a year’s break and she comes back and she’s playing great. For me that would not be possible – or maybe it would be – but I feel comfortable when I’ve played a few matches, that’s when I feel the best.
Has there ever been a grand slam where you felt tired because of your schedule?To be honest, no I haven’t. The top-10 players have a lot of commitments so we don’t really have too much flexibility there. Sometimes maybe you say I’d like to I’ll skip this one but you can’t, because it’s a commitment tournament. Or you can but you get fined. So sometimes I think that could be a bit more flexibility.
Your relationship with Rory McIlroy is always big news – were you ready for the reaction? I definitely did not expect it to become that big, it was everywhere. I was just teasing him, ‘saying that’s how it is when you go out with a superstar.’
How difficult is it having a relationship like that in the public eye? I think, I’ve got used to it. In Denmark, I’ve been in the public eye for a long time and you just learn to distract from the cameras and the media. You learn to just live your life and not think too much about everything around.