© Ella Ling

Miami 2012 - Wozniacki racket

What now for Caroline Wozniacki?

   

Five thoughts on Caroline Wozniacki’s first-round defeat at the US Open.

Could there be a worse time to launch an underwear range called ‘This Is Me’? She’s plainly lost her mojo (for now). Wozniacki’s defeats no longer have the same shock value – was anyone truly astonished by losing to Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu in New York City? It’s not as if it was the first time this year, a year which started with the Dane as the world number one, that she has lost in the opening round of a slam, since it also happened a couple of months ago at Wimbledon. So that’s two slams in succession now that she has lost in the first round, and it’s already got the look of a dangerous spiral. Wozniacki has had a rough year. “I tried,” said Wozniacki, whose movement was restricted by a knee injury she sustained at a tournament in New Haven last week. 

Will Wozniacki persist with Thomas Johansson, the former Australian Open champion she hired at the start of the summer? Wozniacki has shown this year, when Ricardo Sanchez was ditched after a couple of months, that she can be ruthless in the workplace. 

Having started the year on top of the rankings, there is every chance that Wozniacki, a runner-up to Kim Clijsters at the 2009 US Open, could end the year outside the top 10.

Don’t blame the golfing boyfriend or the lingerie line. No one should doubt Wozniacki’s work ethic. Or wonder whether, with Rory McIlroy as her boyfriend, and with an underwear collection to be launched soon, she has lost her focus. Enjoying a happy personal life, and off-court commercial success, doesn’t stop you winning matches – take Maria Sharapova, who is engaged to be married, is the richest sportswoman in the world, and who this year completed her career slam. There aren’t many players in the women’s game who work as hard as Wozniacki does.

For all the pain in her knee, plus any mental difficulties that armchair and bleacher psychologists might choose to diagnose her with, even a healthy and focused Wozniacki would have struggled to win the US Open. Until she develops a weapon with which to hurt the elite, it is highly unlikely she will ever win a slam. Still, whoever thought Johansson would ever win a major?

   
  • gjd93

    I like Wozniacki, I think she seems like a really great person off the court. However, I don’t know if she’s capable of winning a grand slam as long as hard hitters like Serena are still on tour. But then again, 2009 US Open final proved that she can make it far in a slam, and she has proven that when provoked.. she has quite a lot of fire power. A good example of this was in the Olympics where she fought her way through, but eventually lost to Serena. I noticed that the moment she became number 1 her game went downhill, because when you’re number 1, you’re the best right? So you don’t need to work as hard. This lack of working hard really paid a price when Serena came back after her health complication. Before becoming number 1, and also before she changed her racket-make from Babolat to Yonex her game has suffered the consequences. I really do believe that she could easily make it back into the top 10, if not the top 5, because she has the drop shots, the volleys, and so on.. all she needs to improve is that aggressiveness and that serve along with continuing to move away from the baseline and up towards the net to force her opponent behind their baseline. She might not be able to win a grand slam.. I don’t know, she could surprise us in the future because she is only 22 years old. Everyone differs, David Ferrer at 30 has shown that some people perform better after having years to experience and get used to things. Also, the same thing has happened to Ana Ivanovic who rose to number 1 without ever winning a slam and then falling out of the top 10. However, she has now climbed her way back into the top 10, so Caroline could easily achieve the same. Her coach just need to press these things and make her be more offensive. Through the years she has lost a lot of weight, she’s become more toned and has built more muscle so I’m sure within due time we’ll see her fighting her way back.