An auto-tune machine can cover a multitude of sins. And doing something in the name of charity offers you some protection from the criticism. But there are lines that should not be crossed, and, judging by the reaction to her pop song ‘Oxygen’, Caroline Wozniacki has not so much crossed them as taken a running jump over them.
But many of these critics appear to have got this all wrong by taking such po-faced offence at her efforts – surely Wozniacki was doing everyone more of a service with cringeworthy lyrics and her robotic vocals than if the single had actually been any good? If Wozniacki’s song had been artistically credible, that would have a huge disappointment. When Wozniacki sings, “Come over here so I can touch your body. Don’t make me wait, don’t hesitate,” the former world number one is only adding to the gaiety of the tennis republic.
As she is when she delivers this line, “You’re like the gravity that’s holding me, it’s puling me babe”, and this one: “Yo, what’s your name girl? My name is Caroline.” And Wozniacki doesn’t forget her tennis roots: “Boy, you’re my match point.”
We await the video; but you can be sure that will only add to everyone’s enjoyment of ‘Oxygen’. Charity singles performed by sportsmen or sportswomen are supposed to be bad – in fact, not just bad, but hilariously bad – so Wozniacki was only doing what she was supposed to do. One critic wrote, “Wozniacki released a pop single that’s as good as you’d expect”, and that was intended as an insult. But it’s not really one at all – the Dane did what was demanded of her.
For those in Britain and America who have a cultural superiority complex, who consider that all the continental Europeans are good for is producing cheesy, inane pop, Wozniacki’s Oxygen was perfect. Here she was confirming everyone’s cultural prejudices. This track could not be more perfect.
Once again here is proof that Wozniacki doesn’t take herself too seriously, that she is willing to offer herself up for public entertainment. Just look at the occasion she suggested she had been attacked by a kangaroo in Melbourne. Or when she tried (and failed) to stamp on a balloon behind Maria Sharapova’s back. This is not a vanity project, so don’t judge her on that basis. Sports Illustrated were right when they said, “Caroline Wozniacki sings. Or to be more accurate, Caroline Wozniacki knows people who have an auto-tune machine.”
So laugh. But don’t laugh at Wozniacki. Laugh with her.
This weekend, Glaswegians will get the chance to celebrate the little guy, The Last of the Lilliputians. Olivier Rochus, who is in Scotland to represent Belgium against Britain’s Davis Cup team, is just 5ft 6in, and you have to think that he is the last man of that size to have such impact on tennis.
Rochus, who is currently No 59 in the rankings, has been as high as 24. He’s heard all the jokes before, by the way, the ones about him practicing his groundstrokes against the kerb, or (after he has beaten one of the giants), that he should pick on someone his own size. On the ATP’s profile page he discloses his childhood ambition: “To be tall.”