‘She will never win a Slam’. How many people have said that about Caro Wozniacki?Throughout her career U must have heard it a million times, I sometimes thought these people were going to be proven right too. Having said that, when Serena isn’t playing the two players I look for in the draw are Venus and Woz. What would you expect from a fully fledged member of the Rena’s Army club?
Yes, Wozniacki has always been a fantastic tennis player. A two time Grand Slam runner-up (to Serena and Clijsters) and of course a former world number one. The US was always the Slam she looked most likely to win having had some very good performances in New York (two runners-up and three last four showings). Despite this, it looked for years as though time could be passing her by and that elusive slam was slipping away. Things changed in the second half of last year though, culminating in an immensely impressive showing at the End of Year Tour finals in Singapore.
Always as solid as ever from the baseline with her groundstrokes and ability to chase endless balls down, a little more was required. Caro was prepared to adjust her tactics and when a player does that in search of success and succeeds, it’s a great story. You have been open-minded enough to change it up and that’s not as easy to do as it sounds.
Without becoming all-out attack and reckless the Dane has found an aggression off the serve and attacking groundstrokes that have made her a different proposition. What I like to call ‘controlled aggression’.
Woz has transitioned well and looks happy both on and off the court. Fiance David Lee seems to have had a calming influence also. Having a like-minded sports pro/ ex-pro in your corner can have a very positive effect. There is a mutual understanding. The result in all of these factors is a thoroughly deserved first Australian Open title.
In Melbourne, she showed all the attributes both past and present to land the title. The gutsy, fighting spirit shown in beating Jana Fett having saved match points. The way she refocused against Suarez Navarro in the last 8 also showed the old qualities were there. As a rule, she looked to just outright boss a match and take the game to her opponent, it more than succeeded. The first set against Halep in the final was a prime example.
A big congratulations goes out to Caroline and a very popular champion she is!
Andy Del Potro