Caroline Wozniacki is 22 years of age and has lived a lifetime in the tennis world’s spotlight, often under incessant scrutiny by the media.
She turned pro in 2005 at the age of 15 and climbed steadily up the rankings ladder all the way to No. 1 in October 2010 at the age of 20.
During those early days, Wozniacki was consistent, bold and ambitious on court. She won a great deal, including six titles in both 2010 and 2011. Wozniacki appeared utterly fearless on court. Yet, in 2012, she has not won a title to date.
Wozniacki's reign came during a time in the women’s game when there was a definite void at the top. When Justine Henin retired in 2008, the No. 1 ranking was more like a “hot potato” bounced from woman to woman until Wozniacki grabbed hold of it and embraced the opportunity.
She thrived on being the top-seeded player at any event.
Ultimately, Wozniacki earned the top spot in women’s tennis—it was not given to her. She held it for 67 weeks because she continued to lead the field, but that was not enough for all the commentators who ranted on about her one failing—never winning a major.
The constant harassment wore on the young Dane, just as it had on Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic and Dinara Safina—all of whom held the No. 1 ranking for a brief time and, except Ivanovic, did not win a major title.
When Victoria Azarenka finally got her act together late in 2011 by controlling her temper, she began to win. This paralleled Serena Williams' climb back into the game after being out for an extended time with injury and illness.
When Azarenka won the 2012 Australian Open, inevitably Wozniacki lost her No. 1 ranking.
From that point forward, the Dane’s ranking continued to sink. After losing at the 2012 Dubai Championships, where Wozniacki was the defending champion, her ranking fell out of the top five—down to No. 9.
Still suffering with a knee injury, Wozniacki, the No. 8 seed, had hopes for a revival coming into the 2012 U.S. Open—the major tournament where Wozniacki has played some of her best tennis in the past.
Yet in her opening-round match on Tuesday, Wozniacki lost to Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania, 6-2, 6-2.
At this point, what will it take to turn her career around and perhaps win that elusive major?