Caroline Wozniacki: Does She Deserve the No. 1?

Michael CasentiCorrespondent IOctober 11, 2010

New World Number 1: Caroline Wozniacki
New World Number 1: Caroline Wozniacki

The tennis world is just starting to wind down, with tournaments in Osaka, Shanghai, Bali, and finally, London and Doha.  Meanwhile, Caroline Wozniacki has secured her place at the top of the WTA Tour. And just like a year ago, we ask the question: Does she deserve the No. 1 ranking?

Unfortunately, last year, the WTA was marred by a series a battles between World No. 1 and World No. 2 Dinara Safina and Serena Williams.  Dinara Safina was the No.1, but hadn't won a grand slam yet (same with Wozniacki).  Serena, obviously upset, claimed that Safina didn't deserve to have the ranking because she hadn't proved herself to the WTA.  Safina countered back by saying no one had said this to Jankovic...

This year is the same story in a different setting.  But no one, or just a few, is complaining about Caroline Wozniacki.  She is a hard worker, basing her game on consistency and speed.  Yet, she has not one a grand slam title. 

In fact, unlike Safina, who had been two to finals before gaining the No. 1 ranking, Wozniacki has only reached one grand slam final to claim the No. 1 status.  Why is it Safina got bashed about, while Wozniacki, and Jankovic (two years ago), weren't criticized?

Wozniacki plays day in, day out.  She plays almost every week.  And unlike Serena Williams, it seems like Wozniacki tries to focus on the minor events.  She only reached one grand slam final, last year at the US Open.  Although winning a grand slam is not the only factor about being worthy of the highest position in women's tennis, it certainly is an important factor.  The Dane does not have the mental strength in the slams, losing to Vera Zvonereva, Francesca Schiavone, and Li Na.  

The Dane does have some backing, though.  She has won her 6th title this year at Beijing, defeating nemesis Zvonereva.  But the reason I believe she has one 6 tournaments this year is because of her participating in many minor events, with very few, if none, top players.

There is nothing special about Wozniacki.  She doesn't have an excellent forehand, backhand, volley, or any other aspect of tennis.  The only thing Wozniacki can boast about is her speed and court coverage.  But then again, I bet Venus Williams or Kim Clijsters could out run her in a race (or marathon, if you like).

Back to the question: Is she, Caroline Wozniacki, deserving of the No. 1 ranking?  No, but she has a chance to prove herself at the YEC in Doha, and next year's four grand slams. Let's just hope she won't turn into another Dinara Safina, the epitome of a head case. 

Can she resist the pressures of being No. 1, unlike Ana Ivanovic?  Can she bring out her best while being No. 1, unlike Jelena Jankovic?  Ahh, the next year will be interesting because of one Dane pursued through the WTA jungle. Will Caroline Wozniacki trip over herself?  Or will she trip over others?