A scorching day in Melbourne. The temperature on Court Two approaching 130 degrees. Veteran Virginia Ruano Pascual trots out to the court and immediately heads to the bench, making sure an ice towel is near.
She feels the wind on her face, but it made no difference. The heat was too much.
And then it happened. Her opponent entered the court, decked out in a vibrant yellow that would put Big Bird from Sesame Street to shame. That long blonde hair flying in the wind like an unfurled standard.
Pure elegance. And yet she carried herself with immense confidence. Her eyes carried an unmatched intensity.
Scattered applause carried across the court. Several fans wave enormous Danish flags. Caroline Wozniacki, the Blonde Bomber from Denmark, was ready.
The girl has every look of a champion, and she's only 18. The face of Danish tennis already, and her golden locks indeed the flag.
But who is she?
Everyone has heard of Maria Sharapova. You know, that girl from the quirky Power Shot commercials?
Everyone knows the Williams sisters. Yeah, those sisters that clashed with the Manning brothers in an epic Oreo Double Stuf contest.
And I think it's safe to say people know who Ana Ivanovic is by now. She doesn't do the whole advertising thing.
But Caroline Wozniacki. An unknown? No, she won the Junior Wimbledon Championship back in 2006.
Then she's probably still a project, right?
Not quite. She's already won three Sony Ericsson WTA Championship events: Stockholm, New Haven and Tokyo, all in 2008. Not bad for someone who started out the year ranked in the skybox of women's tennis.
Oh. She also finished out the year at 12th in the world.
Born in the town of Odense, Wozniacki is a pretty normal girl off the court. Who doesn't love singing awkwardly to some intense pop on your iPod Nano?
Despite coming from a special family, where both of her parents were professional athletes, it wouldn't show in her laid-back lifestyle.
Her brother, Patrik, also plays for the Danish soccer club B1909. Imagine that!
Caroline is also trilingual.
Trilingual. She can speak Danish, English and Polish fluently. Well, isn't she just the scholar? Beauty and brains? A potent combination.
When dealing out the hearts and XOs this Valentine's Day, what's not to love about Caroline? The girl carries the dreams of a nation on her back, and does it well.
In a world where womens' tennis consists of stars known for better for publicity and retiring from tournaments with injuries, Caroline makes no excuses.
Over an hour has past, and Ms. Ruana Pascual finds herself in the same spot on the bench, looking to the sky for answers. She had just been defeated in straight sets by someone nearly half her age. The Blonde Bomber's power and intensity was too much.
Several feet away, Caroline Wozniacki stood waving to the crowd, bearing a million-dollar smile. Her golden hair once again flying in the wind...a symbol of hope for true women's tennis fans everywhere.