Was Wimbledon 2011 Caroline Wozniacki’s last shot at a Grand Slam title?
Wozniacki is number one in the world, not because she is the best tennis player in the world, but because she for a while has been the best one around who played so many tournaments. But, with players like Maria Sharapova, Venus & Serena Williams and the injured Kim Clijsters gradually getting back, Wozniacki will have to step up to another level to both keep the top spot and win a Grand Slam title, which is demanded by a world number one.
While Wozniacki is not a bad player, she is, however, not good enough either to make an impression when the going gets really tough. One lost final (US Open in 2009) and two semifinals (US Open 2010 and Australian Open 2011) is the closest the Dane has been to a Grand Slam victory—even though her strongest competitors have been inactive.
The level of play Wozniacki displays is good enough in average field tournaments lasting a week, but as soon as she embarks on the big events played over two weeks with a star studded field of focused players, she goes down.
Clijsters, the world number two right now, was the first player back in late 2003 to conquer the world’s top spot without having won a Grand Slam. She succeeded winning her first of four Slams in 2005. Amélie Mauresmo took top spot late in 2004 and won her first of two Slam’s in 2006.
Jelena Janković and Dinara Safina, world number ones for the first time in 2008 and 2009 respectively, have yet to win a major. While Janković is present number 15 in the world, Safina (sister to Marat Safin making them the first brother and sister tandem in tennis history to both achieve number one rankings) is fighting her way back in top 100 after a back injury.
History will show if Wozniacki will get her major, but for now she will have to see players she can’t beat regaining their power, and watch players she has beaten, step up their game when the really important tournaments call for it.