August 25, 2010

The Workhorse

Is it just me, or does Caroline Wozniacki play a lot of tennis?

Okay, that's a pretty obvious statement -- but remember back in the spring when she remained entered in every clay court tournament after that terrible tumble she took in Charleston? Admittedly I was surprised that she rebounded so quickly and made a run to the quarterfinals in Paris. But she hasn't missed a beat through the summer, and now with just a few days left until the U.S. Open begins, she stands to play six straight weeks without the smallest of breaks.

Ah, to be young!

To be sure, she's been solid so far during that run -- she won the title in her homeland at the start of the month and followed it up with her first Premiertop-tier event trophy in Montreal this past week. And tonight she begins a campaign to three-peat as champion at the Pilot Pen, displaying no signs of fatigue.

Why all the hard work? Rumor has it that if Caro wins in New Haven and, clearly the longer shot, New York, she would replace Serena Williams as the #1 women's tennis player in the world -- not bad for a few month's work.

It's a bit surprising for a girl who doesn't have any huge weapons. At five-foot-ten, she's not the biggest on Tour and she doesn't deliver an inordinate amount of aces. But she can stay with her much stronger opponents -- her counter-punching has gotten her past players like Svetlana Kuznetsova, Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta, and she's been able to take sets from even greater champions like Serena and Justine Henin. At only twenty years of age, it's clearly a good sign that she can keep up with physically stronger and more-experienced contemporaries.

Of course, the #1 ranking is still several weeks and many wins away. The Dane will first have to get through a tougher-than-normal draw in Connecticut which includes heavyweights like Elena Dementieva and Sam Stosur. And she'll have to go one better during her fortnight in Flushing than she did last year. But as the top seed in New York she certainly has the motivation to at least make a deep run.

And if the past month is any indication, she most definitely has the energy!

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