The decline of Caroline Wozniacki has been so steady that it went almost unnoticed, over the weekend, that her victory in the Luxembourg Open represented her first championship of 2013.
She was the world No 1 as recently as January of last year. She spent 67 weeks at the top, and it was inevitably noted that she held that position despite never winning a grand slam singles title. Often, it was further noted that she had reached the final of only one slam event, the US Open in 2009.
If her place at the top were made possible by injuries to Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, and before the rise of Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska, she still was very good, winning six times in both 2010 and 2011 – though she did specialise in winning the mid-level tournaments (New Haven, three times). Her busy schedule helped push her up the rankings, too.
Her slide may not have had anything to do with her relationship with Rory McIlroy, but it is at least an interesting coincidence.
In Luxembourg, she overcame a weak field – Sloane Stephens was the No 2 seed – and Wozniacki defeated only one player ranked in the top 35 (Sabine Lisicki) on the way to the title.
After, the world No 10 noted that she has 21 titles at age 23. “I’m still young,” she said. “I have a few more years to go.” It is not too late to again become a grand slam contender, but she will need to give greater attention to tennis than she has these two years past.
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