Winning Grand Slam remains the goal

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki outlines her tennis aims for 2014 despite her poor form last season.

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    Caroline Wozniacki warms up at the Qatar Open where she is looking to climb the rankings [Faras Ghani / Al Jazeera]
    Caroline Wozniacki warms up at the Qatar Open where she is looking to climb the rankings [Faras Ghani / Al Jazeera]

    Winning a grand slam remains Caroline Wozniacki’s biggest goal, according to the former world number one, who managed just one WTA title in 2013 and was knocked out of this year’s Australian Open in the third round.

    Wozniacki hired Australian Open champion Li Na’s former coach, Michael Mortensen, in a bid to improve her ranking after falling to 10th in the world. However, the drop in ranking does not remain Wozniacki’s big worry, it is the need for improvement that the Dane is working towards.

    Wozniacki's WTA Titles

    Year    Titles

    2008      3
    2009      3
    2010      6
    2011      6
    2012      2
    2013      1

    “I don’t think anything has gone wrong [with the fall in rankings] and being world number one for two years is a pretty good effort,” Wozniacki told Al Jazeera at the Qatar Open 2014 where she will play her first match on Wednesday.

    “I’ve achieved basically anything I could on the tour. I’ve won 21 tournaments and been number one for so long but winning a grand slam definitely is the biggest goal of mine that I haven’t achieved yet. You always try and improve so obviously that’s the incentive when you onto the practice courts.”

    It took the former world number one almost three years to win her first title – in 2008 – but she managed two more that year and in 2009 before marking her ascent to the top of the rankings with six trophies in 2010 and 2011 each.

    However, her loss in the 2012 French Open quarter-finals signaled the end of her reign at the top which was often under-fire by some players given her grand slam drought.

    Experience counts: Na

    Meanwhile, Na, who won the second of her grand slam titles in Melbourne earlier this year, credited experience on the court for the achievement Down Under.

    Na, who turns 32 in two weeks, is eyeing the top ranking after having moved up to third with her Australia Open title. She trails Victoria Azarenka by just 11 points and if she does overtake the Belarusian, the top two spots in women’s rankings will be occupied by players aged 30-plus.

    “I don’t think we [Serena Williams and Na] are old, we’re just a little bit more experienced,” Na said.

    “Tennis now isn’t only about technique. You need to be mentally strong on the court. Maybe some young player has very good technique but she isn’t strong enough up there or she doesn’t have enough experience on the court which is why she’s unable to do that well.”

    Na is the top-seed at the Qatar Open following Serena’s withdrawal and the Chinese tennis star is looking for a way to keep calm and not put too much pressure on her.

    “My goal in 2014 was to win another grand slam. First month of the year, I achieved that. Now I try and improve my ranking and see how far I can go.”

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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