little miss sunshine

Wozniacki Calling the Shots: the Beginning of Real Dominance?

By Luís Santos

Imagine my surprise when I got home after a fun day out in downtown Lisbon, only to find out that Little Miss Sunshine Caroline Wozniacki crushed Flavia Pennetta with the impressive scoreline of 6-2 6-0.

Do not let the scoreline fool you! The real standout in this win? The staggering amount of winners displayed by the Dane – 35! – a result of her aggressive game that she brought to the court today, a deviation to her usual standards. And while she may sound like a fish out of the water with her game plan, the truth is that she held her own, misfiring a mere seven times throughout but claiming twelve games in a row.

The ultimate question arises: Is Wozniacki ready to win her first Slam? Clearly she’s working towards it and she must be applauded for such effort – very Nadal-ish. And let’s face it: if she can trounce Pennetta – who won over 50 points and blasted 33 winners of her own – this way then are any of the other WTA players safe anymore?

Serena, who just got off the leg cast this week, and Kim: beware, there’s a whole new Wozniacki on the block.

Check these photos of Dubai from last week:

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Caroline Wozniacki Retakes Number 1 Spot (Yes, THAT fast!)

It is like Caroline Wozniacki never left the number one position. Little Miss Sunshine was number 2 for exactly one week and retakes the top spot this Monday when the new rankings of the WTA Tour come out.

Since Clijsters won’t play until the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Sweet Caroline is going to stay number one for a while but after that it is going to be very exciting.  Wozniacki has 700 points to defend at Indian Wells while Clijsters only has to defend a mere 80. But Clijsters is the title defender of the Sony Ericsson Open while Wozniacki has 250 points to protect. Yes, we are entering exciting times in women’s tennis.

In the meantime just enjoy the following photo of Caroline literally holding that number one:

Kim Clijsters Offers Caroline Wozniacki some Friendly Advice

Anyone else followed Caroline Wozniacki at the Aussie Open? Well  I have and I have been reading reports too from others. First of all, I disagree with all the critics who say she doesn’t deserve to be number one because she has not won a major. The number 1 spot doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a major and that’s what Jelena Jankovic proved and Dinara  Safina and now it’s Caroline Wozniacki who proves it. A major does look good on your list of won tournaments, I have to admit that.

The media are all over Wozniacki at the moment and try to add pressure for her to win her first Grand Slam tournament. Caroline however keeps her cool but things from the Wozniacki camp tell a different story and that Wozniacki is indeed nervous and does let what the media says get to her. But all that pressure comes with being the number one of the world. It is something she will have to get through.

Kim Clijsters offers some good advice for Little Miss Sunshine. In an interview conducted by Reuters, Clijsters comments that Wozniacki must play it smart to reach her full potential and wondered if it was necessary to play so many tournaments a year (Wozniacki played 22 tournaments in 2010).

“So I wonder maybe it’s not the smartest choice (to play so many events).

“You need to peak and make goals and not worry about money or points here and there. But it will happen. She’s young, she’ll learn.”

Speaking of her own experience about the media, being number and not having won a Grand Slam tournament yet Clijsters said the following:

“Somebody will always be targeted for that,” Clijsters told Reuters in an interview at the Australian Open On Thursday.

“Is it unfair? It’s not something that happens out of the blue or that’s only her. I was in the same situation. I was younger than Caroline probably and you have to deal with it!”

“Dealing with that pressure is not always that easy,” said the 27-year-old. “After a while you start doubting yourself just because of what you have to answer in the media.

“I do feel that (she’s) very close. She hasn’t been on the tour for many years and she’s already at number one.

“She will gradually grow into that role where she’s on top of the women’s game and winning grand slams, or a very big contender.”

To read the full interview with Clijsters  , click here

What are your thoughts regarding the media pressure on Caroline Wozniacki? Drop us a line by using the comment box. For now enjoy the photos of Caroline Wozniacki at the Australian Open.

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Who’s Left to Qualify for London?

So we tearfully farewelled Elena Dementieva, my favourite, the “Slamless Swan” and saw “Little Miss Sunshine” Caroline Woznaicki and her magical yellow panties, cement the world No. 1 ranking for the year, and Sam Stosur reminded us (with the help of Fran Schiavone) that sadly, all the love in the world can’t stop a choke. Vika Azarenka stuck around Doha for another girlie sleepover while Jelly Jankovic limped home. And finally, Kim Clijsters reminded us that her best days are far from over. There is credit going where credit is due, and that is to the fabulous field of eight women who showed us some beautiful, well-crafted, athletic and gutsy tennis last week in Doha.

It’s time to turn the volume back up now for my legitimate favorites, the boys of the ATP. It’s a big week, as the contenders for the Top 8 to reach the World Tour Finals in London scrabble to pick up as many loose points as they can, even if it means stealing it from an old lady. (Oh no wait, Kimiko Date is in Bali!)

While the Big Four (And Sod!) have already qualified, competition for the last three spots is tight, most of it depending on this week’s 500 tournaments in Valencia and Basel. Next week’s Masters in Paris Bercy will clinch the lineup.

There are six guys competing for the last three spots, and they’re all awesome. (And hot. Random, amazing, true.) These guys have all had a great season, for one reason or another, and would be great additions to challenge the “B4AS” and give us some depth in London. (Except Tomas, sorry – unless he leaves his brain at home).

Tomas Berdych

With the 3665 points he picked up from basically being a badass this year, upsetting big ‘uns at the important moments, he had us all thinking he could do it before running back to the happy choking cave and refusing to win since Wimbledon. He’s in Basel for the week, but so are Nole and Fed, which means it’s likely the head case came too, packed and wrapped in a shiny red ribbon. Sweet.

David Ferrer

The sexy Spaniard’s been aiming for this goal all year – unlike the dudes who pretend they have no interest whatsoever – and he’s done pretty well to get there, with an incredible clay season and consistent hard court results throughout the year. With 3325 points, he has an almost sure chance of getting in, even if he doesn’t pick up any spares in his backyard in Valencia.

Andy Roddick

It looks like a lackluster season, but we forget how well he did on hard courts at the start of the year, in Miami and Indian Wells. His 3305 points make it very easy to catch up to Mr Ferru or even Tomas, should Tomas lose early and Rod make it all the way. Though honestly, it’s Basel that he’s chosen for the week, and scary Fed is there. Boo.

Fernando Verdasco

Fernando Verdasco is trying to remind us of the inspired second half of a match he played in New York when he stole our hearts with that incredible matchpoint, hoping for a deep run in Valencia that’ll supplement his 3150 points. Got to remember though, that even if he takes the whole thing, that still leaves him shy, and who knows what else the other boys might pick up during the week.

Mikhail Youzhny

My boy Misha is a worry. His 2910 points could have put him in contention if he’d done what he was supposed to do after beating Dima, and actually finished off Kukushkin for the St Petersburg title. Instead, he waltzed around the tennis court for an hour and now has to show us his stuff in Valencia or risks falling back down into top 20 land. He made the final last year, so Race aside, he could also fall significantly, dammit.

Whatever, Jurgen. We know you had a great year, but take what you got in doubles and shuddup now, okay. You got your Vienna title, but there’s no way you’ll make it to London for singles unless you somehow take Paris. I’ll snigger at the prospect now but let me bite my tongue – hell, this is tennis.

Honorable mentions go to Jo and Marin, who everyone’s going, what, them? They haven’t had such great seasons –until we remember they were our Melbourne semifinalists, though Marin has basically reached irrelevance and Jo’s pulled out of Valencia with an injured knee. Nico’s done great, and I’m proud, but that’s enough for now boy. Leave the Valencia points to the boys who need them.