Cold comfort for Wozniacki as battle to take over top spot heats up

 

It would hardly have felt like consolation at the time, but at least Caroline Wozniacki could take one positive from her 6-3, 7-6 defeat by Kim Clijsters in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open yesterday. The 21-year-old Dane's exit from the tournament means that, for the moment at least, she will not have to answer questions about whether she deserves to be world No 1 when she has yet to win a Grand Slam tournament.

Having topped the rankings for 67 of the last 68 weeks, Wozniacki will lose her place in next week's updated list. Victoria Azarenka, who beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-7, 6-0, 6-2 to earn a semi-final against Clijsters, could take the No 1 position, while Petra Kvitova and Maria Sharapova went into their quarter-finals today, against Sara Errani and Ekaterina Makarova respectively, with the top spot also in their sights.

Wozniacki fought tenaciously against Clijsters, but the match summed up her problems. Although the Dane is a superb athlete and great competitor, she lacks the weight of shot to beat the very best. Time and again Wozniacki had chances to finish off points but lacked the killer punch to do so.

In contrast, the big-hitting Clijsters, having recovered well from the ankle injury she suffered in the previous round, struck a succession of winners – 39 to Wozniacki's 13 – and could usually rely on her heavy serve to dig her out of trouble.

Asked how she felt about losing the No 1 spot, Wozniacki replied: "I don't really think about it. I've been there for a long time already. I finished No 1 two years in a row. At the end of the year, we will see who played the best. We are just in January. At the end of the year, you see who has played the best, most consistently all year-round. I will get it back."

She added: "I start laughing every time because the media talks to me like I'm finishing my career and I only have one year left and time is running out. The fact is I still have quite a few good years in front of me. I'm still improving."

Azarenka showed admirable composure to recover after losing the first set to Radwanska, who spoke afterwards about grunting. Although the Pole said she had got used to the noise made by Azarenka, whose wailing has been mimicked by the crowds here, she said some of the women players were "just too loud". She added: "About Maria [Sharapova], I mean, what can I say? For sure that is pretty annoying."

Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before