Category Archives: Caroline Wozniacki
Another day, another tournament win for Caroline Wozniacki. Today she picked up her 7th title win and 4th Tier I of the last 12 months with a 6-1 6-3 victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova.
I guess that match can mostly be described as “the usual”. Karolina was solid, played percentages and was generally just, you know, Wozniacki, while in the other corner, Sveta was Sveta. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. What was odd about this was that though the errors flowed like wine off Sveta’s racket, she wasn’t even attempting to be aggressive. She caught the Jankovic fever and for most of the match could barely clear the service line, let alone attempt to dictate.
I feel like Sveta has put so much spin on her shots that though it gets her through many of the lesser players, it’s just not good enough to get past Wozniacki like that. I watched the Aga match earlier on and though Sveta won, it was a similar story. Aga was right there with her with so much time on the ball. That’s not how Sveta has achieved what she has achieved so far in her career. She did so because, not only was she a great athlete, but she bludgeoned past opponents with her brutal offense. There was once upon a time when Sveta’s forehand was by far the best in the game, but nowadays it isn’t even close.
But it’s still an encouraging week for her, and for Jankovic too. With Wozniacki winning all these tournaments, the main consensus seems to be that she *will* win a slam at some point – and very soon. But I don’t think it’s a given. There are so many great players on the tour, they’re just all either injured or in some kind of mass-slump. A few of them rising from these slumps and recovering from their injuries could really change the WTA landscape by the end of the year. So we’ll see what happens.
I honestly don’t know what’s funnier about that video -- the racket flying out of Jelena’s hand, or Wozniacki missing the ball.
You’ll notice that Divaniacki tried to get the point replayed for hindrance. No. By the racket flying out of Jelena’s hand, it was a stroke of luck for HER. All she had to do was get the ball into court, and the point would’ve been her’s. I guarantee you that had the ball landed in and the umpire called hindrance, she wouldn’t have wasted any time in stomping up to the umpire and demanding that the point was her’s as it was Jelena’s fault for letting go of the racket. So whatevs, girl.
Before today, if I had to choose one player in Dubai not to wet her pants while closing out a big lead, Jelena Jankovic would either be that person, or right in the conversation. Even at the end of last year when she was losing in straight sets to the likes of Amanmuradova, Diyas and so on, it wasn’t because she was a choker or whatever, she just plain sucked.
But not today. Today Jelena went there, falling apart after leading Wozniacki 5-2 and squandering triple set point and four overall in the very next game. It was appalling and horrific car crash television. And with my internet down and no snarky, sarcastic comments to vent with, I was raging. Before the choke, Jelena was cruising. She wasn’t even playing particularly well, but it was clear she was outmatching Wozniacki – serving and returning far better, defending well, and using her trademark controlled aggression to continually slot the ball past her opponent.
Wozniacki certainly improved from that point onwards, but it was Jelena who gave her an opportunity to play better, with her length dropping to the point where she could hardly get the ball past the service box and masses of easy errors and bonehaded decisions accompanying her passive play. Soon she had lost five games in a row to drop the set, squandering more break back chances at 5-6. And that was that.
In the final, Wozniacki will face Svetlana Kuznetsova who took out Flavia Pennetta 6-4 6-4 later today. I’m not even going to attempt to predict or analyse the final because past matches between the two have been so inconsistent. But, you know, it would be nice to see one of the best players play even a decent match against Wozniacki for a change.
After a few days at number two following Kim Clijsters’ final at last week’s Paris event, Caroline Wozniacki has moved back into the number one position by defeating Shahar Peer 6-2 6-4 to move into the semis of Dubai.
I have to say, I’m so baffled at so many people making such a big deal over this. Firstly the WTA, presenting Wozniacki with another of those ‘1’ shaped nettle things for regaining her ranking after the week. OTT much? There’s a chance that the pair could go back-and-forth over the next few months. And then what, a new one every week? It’s pretty damn pointless.
And secondly, the reaction from all the fans and journos. At the end of the day, the #1 ranking is just a digit on a piece of paper. The whole point of the ranking system is so that the best players are seeded accordingly at every tournament. Nothing more. So all these discussions over whether Wozniacki is the “deserving” number one are completely pointless. I feel like I’ve already posted this and am simply repeating myself, but I wouldn’t have to repeat myself if certain people stopped making a song and dance out of essentially nothing at all. Let it go, people. Let it go…
“All I know is that I deserved to be the world number on in 2010, obviously, my results clearly show it. I mean, I’ve been the one who won more matches and more tournmaents on the WTA Tour than anybody else.”
“I think that in every slam, I miss a little bit of luck and experience. It’s not a big secret to play well seven matches in a row to win the title. And I learnt through my career that it’s not that easy at all. But I’ll do everything I can this year to work it out”
- Caroline Wozacki on whether or not she deserved her number one rnaking.
I’m so over all of this now. Firstly because of how annoying it is to hear reporters so fixated on whether or not x player deserves the number one ranking. It’s unfair on Karolina, Kim and all the other players. All this week, Kim’s pressers have been filled with questions on that very topic, and every single reply is exactly the same; blank stare, shrug of her shoulders and a tiny eye-roll (only tiny because she’s a saint, remember?). She just doesn’t care. Someone even asked Bethanie if Kim deserved the number one ranking. It’s ridiculous. At the end of the day, the main purpose of ranking players is for seeding at slams and other tournaments. Nothing else.
And I also hate it because of stupid answers like that. Caroline has had all the luck in the world in the slams. I mean at the US Open in 2009, her half of the draw suffered one of the biggest implosions in recent memory, and she played Melanie Oudin and Yanina Wickmayer to reach a Grand Slam final. Come on now.
Then at the US Open in 2010, her toughest opponent was a Sharapova who has compiled a breathtakingly brilliant 6-6 W-L record since then. At this year’s Australian Open, we thought she’d finally get a tough match with Henin looming in the quarterfinals, but Justine lost to Sveta and had retired within days, and then it was Schiavone who limped into the quarterfinals off the back of the longest match in Australian Open history. Her three set loss to Na Li this year was the first time she hadn’t been defeated in straight sets at a slam since her three set loss to Jelena Dokic at the Australian Open.
The reason you haven’t won a slam definitely isn’t because of bad luck, Karolina.
Ahead of day one of the Fed Cup Euro/Africa Zone I ties in Eliat, Israel, all the participating nations gathered round for the pre-tournament Gala. Notable players participating in the event include Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska and Shahar Peer.
More at the jump.
So, we finally had the much anticipated follow up to last year’s ‘Hit For Haiti’ exo, with this year’s ‘Rally For Relief’ taking place today. This exhibition was to benefit all those affected by the Queensland floods, with Andy Roddick, Novak Djokovic, Ana Ivanovic, Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka, Pat Rafter, Justine Henin, Vera Zvonareva, Andy Murray, Jim Courier, Lleyton Hewitt, Kim Clijsters, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Sam Stosur all taking part. It was a massive success with the players raising $1.5m thus far, a figure likely to be doubled, tripled and God knows what esle over the next fortnight.
The first part was pretty much a free-for-all in a similar vein to last year. As usual it was Novak and Andy who stole the show with their perving on the WTA players, going into the photog area, perving again, sitting in the linesman’s chairs, perving a little more and just generally cracking joke after joke (most of which were to do with their female counterparts). Also gotta hand it to Ana and Vika who were the supporting cast in this exo. Most of the other players were (expectedly) quite boring, and Serena was clearly missed after her effort in the last exhibition. But Murray and Ana had sex on-court, people.
I think we all rolled our eyes after looking at the program for the second match of the exhibition, billed as the “main event. The four got down to the mic-less *srs* business, with Kim teaming up with Rafa and Fed with Sam. There were some fun moments but all in all it wasn’t the most riveting of viewing experiences. But then they flipped it round for a good ol’ battle of the sexes, and it went from boring to goddamn amazing in the blink of an eye. I don’t even care that this was an exhibition, I just found it so enjoyable and to watch the WTA players, our WTA players, go up against the men and give such a great account of themselves. The men did try to play it cool with their little dinks and slices, but when they did step up and go for their strokes there were some pretty electric rallies. Two of the most prominent being the forehand-to-forehand exchange between Rafa and Sam, in which both were killing the ball, and the second was when Kim and Sam loaded up on heavy topspin, imitating their male counterparts. The women eventually won the tie 45-43 with a massive forehand winner from Kim. Bow down to them.
The one thing I will say is that, as great as this and last year’s event have been, I just wish that it wasn’t simply a response to a disaster. They raised so much money with just a 1hr30 hit ‘n’ giggle, and there are so many other causes that need help, so why not make events like these a regular occurrence at the other slams (bar the US Open which obviously has the Arthur Ashe Kids Day) also? Not only does this raise a lot of money for charities and relief efforts, but it’s a brilliant advertisement for the ATP, the WTA and tennis as a whole.
It’s that time of year again. The Australian Open men’s and Women’s draws are done and dusted, and it’s my job to dissect them - secondary school biology class style, so here goes. As I’m such a gentleman, it’s ladies first.
Atop of the first section stands our world number one Caroline Wozniacki, and for once she really hasn’t got it easy. Upset queen Gisela Dulko in the first round, her Sydney conqueror Dominika Cibulkova awaiting in the third round, Jarmila fucking Groth/Marion Bartoli predicted to meet her in the fourth round and then Justine Henin/Svetlana Kuznetsova or Francesca Schiavone in the quarters. The skies ahead are looking stormy for “Little Miss Sunshine”.
But there’s a reason they actually play these matches. Anything can happen, and it usually does on the WTA. This section is undoubtedly one of the most packed in the draw (10 Grand Slams between them), and so all eyes will be here to see how things unfold. Even many of the first round matches are great. There is of course Woz’s aforementioned match against Giant-killah Gisela, and then we have the first rounder between Jarka “I’m not a fucking tourist” Groth and the source of all evil, Yanina Wickmayer. This will promise to be an affair full of foul-mouthed tirades and ill-tempered big babe ballstriking with a touch of athleticism for good measure. However, I can only see Jarka coming away with the ‘W’. She’s such a talented player, and it all seems like things are slowly-but-surely coming together for her. She obviously beat Sam Stosur in her first tournament of 2011 and is currently in the finals of Hobart, so she’s going to be tough to beat. Jokes aside, there seems to be so much hype surrounding Yanina Wickmayer, yet nothing to show for it. She may have reached the US Open semis, but we all saw first-hand just how messed up that draw was - the fact that the 18th-seeded Virginie Razzano was her biggest scalp en route to a slam semi pretty much says it all. She is still yet to beat a top ten player at a WTA event.
On a personal note, the Anastasija Sevastova vs Polona Hercog first rounder is something that both excited me and annoys me. Two young players blessed with such attractive games. The two people watching the match are in for one hell of a treat. Wish I was one of them.
Moving on into the draw, the third round matches are looking pretty good. Karolina against Cibulkova is a must-see after the upset in Sydney, and Marion Bartoli’s match against Groth/Wickmayer could be fun, too. Finally, there is, of course, the potential third round match between Svetlana Kuznetsova and Justine Henin. Remember when they used to meet in slam finals? It was really fun about 3 years ago when we began to have these crazy draws, and we laughed heartily at them, but now it just sucks. Majorly. They should be playing in the quarters, semis or finals of slams, not the third round. And this only one of many early matches at this year’s Australian Open, that could have/already have easily been slam finals at some time or another. Anyways, it is what it is. If Sveta can find some form and lose all the inhibitions, then she could easily make it interesting, but I’m expecting a win for Justine. Prove me wrong Sveta. I beg you, please prove me wrong.
And now for the hard part. Well, in all honesty, this isn’t a particularly tough choice. Christine really is the overwhelming favourite. I’ll never count Francesca out after her brilliant victory over Justine back in 2008, I think Wozniacki could give her some problems should she reach that stage – we saw those moonballzz work a treat against Justine last year in Miami, and there is also that classic Marion Bartoli match involving Justine – yes, that match. But Justine is the overwhelming favourite from this quarter, and I’m too chicken to go against her.
Pick: Justine Henin.
Ok, I do. But the opportunity quote the embarassingly chavy UK group N-Dubz was too good to refuse.
Anyway, yesterday in Hong Kong our world number one Caroline Wozniacki went down to her second-in-command Vera Zvonareva 6-1 6-0 in Hong Kong. It is only an exhibition, after all. But that doesn’t mean it can’t also be funny.
If there’s anything to take from this it is that, exo or no exo, there’s always the chance that a player will play well against Wozniacki and hand her a complete and utter smackdown. We saw it at all four slams last year; vs Na Li in Australia, Francesca Schiavone in France, Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon (never forget) and then against Vera herself at the US Open. It’s why it always makes me chuckle when people are betting their houses on her winning a slam in the next year or two. Nothing is certain. People seem to be obsessed with the “what the hell *big shrug*, someone’s gotta win slams” argument. And while that’s true, who said Wozniacki will be that “someone”? I mean it’s not even those older elite players that she has been losing to in these events. Her one slam final was the product of her half of the draw completely falling to pieces, falling apart so badly that she met Melanie Oudin and Yanina Wickmayer (and please watch that video because the quality is laughable).
Let me just backtrack a bit, though. This isn’t supposed to be a brutal attack on poor Karolina Wozniacka. Unlike many, I do respect her and what she does on the court. Her game is based on being opportunistic, and that’s all she’s doing. Practically every top player is, or at least was in 2010, either injured, slumping or generally just playing far below their usual level, and she simply took advantage. Can’t blame her for doing so, right? But it’s one thing to whore up the Premier, Premier 5 and Mandatory titles, taking advantage of the upsets and brushing aside lower players, and it’s another thing altogether to do so in slams. It’s clear that in slams, regardless of their ranking or whatever, there are always going to be players who feel the history and importance of the Grand Slam and rise to the occasion, playing their best tennis throughout the fortnight. And it’s also clear that when Wozniacki faces off against these players, she loses. Every time. And usually, it’s brutal.
So we’ll see what happens. There’s no point of making this result bigger than it is and assuming that Wozniacki will be taken to the bakery in every match this year, finishing 2011 with zero wins, but it is certainly a noteworthy result. So it has been noted accordingly.