What Caroline Wozniacki's Loss to Barbora Zahlavova Strycova Means for US Open

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2014

EASTBOURNE, ENGLAND - JUNE 19:  Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark returns against Camila Giorgi of Italy during their singles match on day six of the Aegon International at Devonshire Park on June 19, 2014 in Eastbourne, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Another Grand Slam, another disappointment for Caroline Wozniacki.

The former world No. 1 couldn't erase her goose egg at the game's biggest tournaments, failing to capture her first major title at Wimbledon after dropping to Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in Round 4, losing 6-2, 7-5.

It's been a tough year for Wozniacki, who has yet to win a tournament in 2014 and has seen her ranking drop to No. 16 in the world. 

That's a far cry from the player who saw her 67-week reign atop the tennis rankings come to an end at the Australian Open in 2012. No, she wasn't winning Grand Slams back then either, but she was winning tournaments. 

Caroline Wozniacki Titles By Year
YearTournaments WonRecord

Those that have enjoyed prying into the personal life of Wozniacki might point out that she and Rory McIlroy started dating in late 2011 and, in the process, might mention the relationship could have affected her performances. 

They would be the crowd that would ignore other important details, however, like her various injuries this season. Never let logic get in the way of a juicy story, right?

Nonetheless, her very public breakup with McIlroy has earned her more headlines than her play this season. It has surely been a rough year for her in that regard, but such is life in the public eye. 

Of course, it didn't help that she flamed out at the French Open just after the breakup, either, via BBC Sport:

As Jason Sobel of Golf Channel noted, that one had to sting:

Still, seeing Wozniacki return to prominence in the women's game would be good for tennis, and a win at Wimbledon would have really made the lead-up to the U.S. Open exciting.

It also would have immediately thrown her name back in the contenders hat that includes so many talented players at a time of great parity in women's tennis, stars like Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Li NaVictoria Azarenka, Simona Halep and Agnieszka Radwanska, among others.

Wozniacki certainly seemed to be enjoying playing on grass leading into Wimbledon.

"The grass really suits me," she told reporters after beating Sloane Stephens at the Aegon International. "I like the fast ball and pace I get from my opponent's shots."

It didn't seem to suit her at Wimbledon, however.

It would be nice to once again be talking about a player who finished two seasons at No. 1 for her performances on the court, not because of what has happened in her private life. It would be nice to see her star rising again. Remember, folks, she's just 23. A long, successful career is in front of her.

Wimbledon could have been her renaissance. Perhaps the U.S. Open will be instead. Based on her performance at Wimbledon, however, that doesn't seem likely. 


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