Woz happy not to be popped question

Caroline Wozniacki says being replaced by Kim Clijsters as tennis world number one comes with a silver lining.

    Wozniacki has tired of questions about not winning a Grand Slam while world number one [GALLO/GETTY]

    Caroline Wozniacki said there was a considerable improvement in her life after losing the world number one ranking to Kim Clijsters.

    "At least I won't get this question over and over again: 'How does it feel to be number one without winning a Grand Slam?'," the Dane told reporters on Monday at this week's Dubai Championships, in which she is the top seed.

    "I don't feel a difference (as number two). The sun is shining, I'm still playing the same way and I'm still here to compete in the tournament and try to win it. There's absolutely no difference."

    The 20-year-old Wozniacki could swiftly recapture the top ranking with Clijsters choosing to miss a tournament featuring eight of the world's top 10.

    Clijsters won January's Australian Open after Wozniacki fell short of a shot at a Grand Slam, losing to Li Na in the semi-finals.

    In Dubai, she begins her campaign against either last week's Pattaya winner Daniela Hantuchova or slumping Russian Anna Chakvetadze but is not worried about moving back to the top of the rankings.

    High reach

    "If I'm number one that's great, that's what I always practise for, that's of course what I'll try to reach. If I'm number two that's great," she said.

    "At the end of the year you always see who was the number one of the year, who played the best in the whole year. At the end of the year you want to make it to the year-end championships. That's the goal."

    Wozniacki has joined players including Venus and Serena Williams and Francesca Schiavone on the WTA Player Council, which works with tournament directors to provide the best conditions for the athletes.

    "I think it's nice to get the input from the ones who are a bit younger," she said.

    "I just thought, I talk to the players anyway so I might as well join the board and get a voice out there and hopefully change a few things. I think there are still some things we can change, but it (the tour) is okay."

    Among winners on the first day were 10th seed Marion Bartoli of France, who returned to action after suffering a calf muscle injury at the Australian Open to claim a 7-6 6-4 win over Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm.

    Fifteenth seed Alisa Kleybanova defeated qualifier Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 4-6 6-4 6-0 in an all-Russian clash and 16th-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Spanish qualifier Nuria Llagostera Vives 6-4 6-2.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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