Caroline Wozniacki has long been labeled as the superstar tennis player who simply doesn't have what it takes to win a Grand Slam event. Once ranked No. 1 in the world, Wozniacki is now on the outside of the top five and needs a strong performance in New York to reclaim the label of elite.
A third-round 6-4, 4-6, 3-6 loss to No. 136 Camila Giorgi is a damaging blow to that progression.
Translation: and a star was born. Indeed one has been, as Giorgi will now face fellow Italian No. 10 Roberta Vinci in the fourth round.
It wasn't ugly for Wozniacki, as Giorgi did an excellent job of putting the ball in play and forcing the star to beat her. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to.
Wozniacki finished with 13 winners to 27 unforced errors. By comparison, Giorgi tallied 46 winners to 45 unforced errors, which proved one thing: Wozniacki may have lost a close match, but she played horrendous tennis.
When you fail to capitalize on 45 unforced errors, something's wrong.
During the second set, Wozniacki fell into a 1-3 hole, and even blew a 15-40 advantage with the opportunity to break Giorgi's serve. Even after fighting back to make it 3-3, she dropped the second set 4-6 after hitting just two winners.
And then it was time to test Wozniacki's mental makeup.
Wozniacki had multiple break-point opportunities during the first game, but she fell short and never recovered. Giorgi was close to dominant during the final set, capitalizing on the fact that Wozniacki couldn't hit a winner for the life of her.
In the end, it was a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 upset in Giorgi's favor.
This is an discouraging result for Wozniacki, who was knocked out in the second round of the French Open and Wimbledon in 2013. More significantly, she's reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam event in just one of her past seven tries.
That includes a first-round exit at the 2012 U.S. Open and Wimbledon.
With that being said, Wozniacki has experienced a great deal at the U.S. Open, reaching the finals in 2009 and semifinals in both 2010 and 2011. Still just 23, the Dane has time to reach her world-class potential, but patience is running thin, and the label of a bust is being placed upon her.
This loss shouldn't do much to help her star status.
As for Giorgi, she's a 21-year-old player from Italy who is ranked No. 93 in the world. This is her second consecutive Grand Slam event with an appearance in the third round and just the second time in her career that she's reached the fourth round.
Wozniacki better recover quick, because she has a new rising star to deal with.
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