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Caroline Wozniacki: The Arguable No.1

By Akshay Kohli    + Follow

Reads: 1,282, Comments: 1

Keywords: Jelena-Jankovic | Caroline-Wozniacki | Serena-Williams | Vera-Zvonareva | Maria-Sharapova | Victoria-Azarenka | Ana-Ivanovic | Petra-Kvitova | Justine-Henin
Caroline Wozniacki: The Arguable No.1
After a stupendous start to her career, Dane Caroline Wozniacki failed to live up to the expectations and put behind all the criticism of being the World No.1 without winning a Grand Slam. Was it that her fellow competitors raised the ante or was it her mentality that led to her downfall

Caroline Wozniacki played her first professional tournament in 2005 at the age of 15 and climbed steadily up the WTA charts all the way to No.1 in October 2010 at the age of 20. With high ambitions in her mind, the Dane was very consistent and forced her opponents to earn almost every point against her.

Wozniacki’s rise: 2008-2010

Wozniacki’s climb to the Numero Uno in the World came during a phase when the World No.1 ranking was the most unstable. The 2008 season was characterized by its frequent changes in the No.1 ranking, with Justine Henin, Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic and Serena Williams all holding the position at one point during the season.

In 2008, Wozniacki was awarded the Newcomer of the Year Award courtesy her jump in rankings and also some notable performances on tour. With three WTA titles to her name in 2008, Wozniacki’s presence was being felt on tour as she was turning into a dreadful opponent, who had a promising future.

In 2009, the Dane reached the maximum number of finals by a WTA player including her first Grand Slam final at the US Open. Expectations started rising as people started considering her the next big thing in WTA. Her consistency was unmatched and the only way to beat her was to overpower her, something not players could do.

Wozniacki's playing style centered on the defensive aspects of tennis with her anticipation, movement, agility, footwork and defense being her strengths, something that was way better than others.

 The reign over WTA: Oct 2010- Jan 2012

Late in 2010, when World No.1 Serena Williams was out, Wozniacki capitalized on the opportunity presented to her and courtesy some deep runs in almost every tournament she played, Wozniacki finally gained what every tennis player aspires for – the World No.1 rank. She went on to hold this position till the year end.

By achieving this feat, Wozniacki became the fifth WTA player to hold the No.1 ranking without a winning a Grand Slam. The closest competitor for this elusive spot was Vera Zvonareva who too was quite some points behind the Dane. People were getting more convinced about Wozinacki’s abilities as she only needed to win a Grand Slam to get the approval of the tennis pundits who had already started questioning her ability to lift a major.

2011 begun with Wozniacki the year with another good run at a Grand Slam event, reaching the semi-finals before losing to Li Na after holding a match point. That is where the tennis experts started doubting Wozniacki’s knack to win big matches. Though she won 6 titles in 2011, it was the Grand Slams that really mattered.

With consistency in her performances in general, Wozniacki just edged ahead of Petra Kvitova for the year-ending World No.1 spot. Tennis greats started questioning Wozniacki’s game style, accusing her of being too defensive. Also WTA was seeing the rise of the likes of Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka, who were not far behind from dethroning the Dane.

The Downfall: Jan 2012 - present

With a constant change in her coaching staff along with players stepping up their game to another level, Wozniacki faced the heat when Azarenka finally overtook the Dane for the No.1 spot after lifting the Australian Open. The fellow WTA players had a hang of the Dane’s game style as they outplayed her many times during the year. After being No.1 at the beginning, Wozniacki dropped out of the Top-10, but finally fought her way back into the Top-10 after lifting 2 titles at the end of the year.

There is no doubt about the talent Wozniacki possesses; it is just a case of lack of self belief of crossing the final hurdle. Wozniacki’s confidence stands at a tipping point, which once crossed, will get her back to her prime and probably help her fetch Grand Slam glory.

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Posted By jessica.mugambe,   Posted about 2416 days and 2 hours ago

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Caroline Wozniacki is one of my favourite tennis players. She isn't going to be another Vaidišová or Safina. I honestly believe she will win a Grand Slam. Maybe not next year, but one day she will. I'll always have faith in her. She is young, talented. She has many years ahead of her. Her rankings might of dropped quite a bit, but Wozniacki is a fighter, she perseveres. She won't let other people bring her down. Don't doubt and underestimate her. That Grand Slam will eventually come. If it doesn't, I would probably say that she is the best former World No.1 without a Grand Slam to date.

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