Wimbledon 2014: Caroline Wozniacki plays love game as Feliciano Lopez courts her approval

The former worls No 1's Lopez flirtation certainly fits with her new philosophy espoused on Twitter


Revenge is a dish best served hot. Want to know how Caroline Wozniacki is progressing a month after being given the push by Rory McIlroy? Ask her about Feliciano Lopez, the default lothario of men's tennis made famous by the public admiration lavished upon him by Andy Murray's admiring mother.

"Deliciano", as he was labelled by Judy Murray, was a keen observer of Wozniacki's progress at Eastbourne last week, watching matches from the stands, and mention of his felicitations drew an abashed response after her quick-fire victory over Shahar Peer.

"I noticed he was on the sidelines in Eastbourne. He's a great guy, playing well," she said before dissolving into laughter. "This is very awkward." News of the Spaniard's interest in Wozniacki emerged from the man himself, who spoke to reporters about her, revealing that he knows her father well. Not that old conduit, Feliciano. "He's already making his way in through my dad?" she asked.

It might be that the nascent coming together of Wozniacki and Lopez is no more than an elaborate hoax engineered to project a sense of insouciance around the Danish former world No 1. The split with McIlroy hit her sledgehammer hard; a decision to end it that she didn't make.


Four weeks on, there are signs on and off the court that life is picking up. The Lopez flirtation certainly fits with her new philosophy espoused on Twitter. "There comes a time in life when you have to let go of all the pointless drama and the people who create it and surround yourself with people who make you laugh so hard that you forget the bad and focus solely on the good. After all, life is too short to be anything but happy."

This folk wisdom is the work of former Wimbledon champion Kim Clijsters, posted last week and retweeted by Wozniacki. It is one of many missives that mark the staging posts of recovery.

Aided by some solid tennis and her chums on the circuit, in particular the grande dame Serena Williams, who has assumed the role of earth sister in the post-Rory apocalypse, the girl is moving on.

After their first-round exits at the French Open in Paris, Williams whisked Wozniacki to Miami toute de suite, recognising the need to fill her head with a new set of experiences. Sundry snaps from the basketball arena to the dance floor flooded the ether. "Serena is a great girl, an amazing friend. She's always been there for me whenever I've needed her," Wozniacki said.

If immersion in a frenzied social life was the first course of medicine, the second came on the tennis court at Eastbourne, where Wozniacki began to reacquaint herself with the fundamentals of her profession. There is no greater cure for a bad day than winning, as McIlroy attested with his victory at Wentworth in the week of their fracture.

The run to the semi-finals last week in the gentle setting of coastal Sussex meant time on court thinking of nothing but bat and ball. One imagines Wozniacki saw McIlroy's face stitched to the surface of the ball. Maybe that, as much as the attentions paid her by Lopez, was behind the gathering recovery. And so it was a degree of calm and no little enthusiasm that accompanied her to Wimbledon.

If some of her timeline photo mapping betrays a woman working overtime to convey a sense of buoyancy, her work on court needed little embroidery. Her delayed encounter with Shahar resumed on Court 12 with Wozniacki a set and break to the good. There were no backward steps.

She lavished knowing looks on her team in the stands and offered bursts of guttural self-approval. Four unbeaten games later she was shaking hands with the umpire and acknowledging the crowd, her 6-4, 6-0 victory taking her into a second-round encounter with our own Naomi Broady.

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