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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Caroline Clinches and Crumbles

As news spread of Maria Sharapova's withdrawal from the WTA Championship, Caroline Wozniacki stood on court against her second round robin opponent, Vera Zvonareva. In that moment, the Dane unknowingly clinched the world no. 1 ranking for her second consecutive year, and, snapping back from a first set defecit, it looked like she would confirm the reasons why she is ranked so high.

Then she didn't.

Caroline Wozniacki is not the first WTA player to end the year at the top of the rankings (let's go back to Safina and Jankovic), but she is the first player to do so two years running. With the best defense in the game, but most certainly not the best offense, Caroline has embodied the meaning of consistency in professional sports (cough, er... except those losses to Vinci and McHale). The problem? She's not stepping up and winning the titles she should. Is she doomed to stick to New Haven?

Today Wozniacki fought back against Russia's Zvonareva, but her efforts were stifled by her opponent's gutsy play. No matter how many balls Wozniacki pushed back into the court, Zvonareva was ready to knock them away again, toppling Wozniacki for a 6–2, 4–6, 6–3 victory.

Zvonareva launches a backhand in her match against Wozniacki.
(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
The Dane's forehand still sits short, her backhand doesn't always sting like it's capable of and a lack of aggressive play is holding her back. Maybe it's against her nature to go on the attack? But then maybe it's against her nature to hoist a grand slam trophy.

Regardless of her performance in Istanbul, Wozniacki will celebrate the new year as the world's best tennis player. I didn't say the most powerful. I didn't say the most decorated. For now, just... "the best."

-Kedzie Teller, Senior Editor


Chris Lisinski said...

If only Wozniacki were actually good enough to be truly deserving of the number 1 spot... (or if only the rest of the competition who I consider better could get their shit together to knock her down and motivate her to start actually winning bigger tournaments)

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