What Caroline Wozniacki's Loss to Coco Vandeweghe Means for US Open 2017

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2017

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 28:  Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark reacts during her Women's Singles match against Julia Goerges of Germany on day five of the 2015 French Open at Roland Garros on May 28, 2015 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Caroline Wozniacki remains without a Grand Slam title on her resume after her run in the 2017 Wimbledon Championships came to an end Monday with a fourth-round loss to Coco Vandeweghe, 7-6(4), 6-4.

The official Wimbledon Twitter account noted the star's exit from the season's third major, ahead of the 2017 U.S. Open, which begins August 28.

While her loss results in an earlier exit than the Dane would have preferred, Wozniacki can afford to hold her head high after a defeat decided on slim margins just prior to entering the quarterfinals.

Wozniacki was in the match until a crucial break of serve trailing 5-4 cost her the match, and tennis writer Christopher Clarey noted a win could have given her a simpler route into the semifinals against unseeded Magdalena Rybarikova.

Wimbledon marked the 41st major appearance for Wozniacki, a stalwart member of the WTA Tour for more than a decade. She's reached two Grand Slam finals, both at the U.S. Open, but remains without one of the marquee titles despite spending a lot of time ranked inside the WTA's Top 10.

She achieved the No. 1 ranking in 2010, a status she held heading into the 2011 campaign, but she wasn't able to parlay that into high-end success on the sport's biggest stages.

The 26-year-old star—who turns 27 on Tuesday—plays a defensive, counterattacking style of tennis that works well against a vast majority of competitors in the women's game. But the lack of power has left her a step behind the likes of Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka when it mattered most over the years.

At this point, it's fair to wonder whether Wozniacki will ever reach the pinnacle. She's racked up far more early exits than deep runs in majors over the past handful of years, and the U.S. Open is the only one of the four where she's remained a consistent threat.

Furthermore, speculation about retirement started to heat up at last season's final major. Marc Berman of the New York Post passed along her comments at the time, which didn't deny the talk or provide a lot of clarity about her long-term outlook.

"I don't want to really talk about it now," Wozniacki said last September. "When I feel ready to open up and say something, then I will."

While the end may be approaching, the short-term focus is getting ready for the busy schedule on the horizon. Up next is a return to the hard courts for the U.S. Open Series leading up to the final Grand Slam of the 2017 season.

Her past results suggest New York City presents the best chance of seeing her win a major championship. While the continued absence of Williams bolsters her hopes in this year's event, it'd be hard to consider her the favorite over the likes of Azarenka, Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova.

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