Entries in Caroline Wozniacki (13)


Djokovic stays cool in a very hot U.S. Open

By Art Spander

NEW YORK — The air was unhealthy. The heat index was unreal. It was sport in a steam bath, officials intervening, players withdrawing, everybody — on court or in the stands — more concerned with what was on the thermometer (the temperature reached 95 degrees) than what was on the scorecards. 

This is America’s tennis championship, the U.S. Open, and so far no one has been able to whip that feisty lady Mother Nature. She’s been in control from the first match. “Extreme weather conditions,” was the official announcement. Are they ever.

The end of summer in New York, Odell Beckham Jr. getting headlines on the front and back page of the New York Post for signing with the football Giants; the Yankees losing ground in their attempt to overtake the Red Sox; and Roger Federer and Serena Williams back at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, out where the Mets play at Citi Field and the jets swoop low when they land at LaGuardia.

The Open is noisy, as is everything in New York; exciting, since if you can make it here you can make it anywhere; and hot, although rarely as hot as this August, when on Tuesday five men — none of them named Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal — withdrew because of conditions so severe that it was decided to give everyone a 10-minute break before a possible third set.

There are now retractable roofs on two of the courts, including the main one, the 23,000-seat Arthur Ashe Court, but understandably officials from the U.S. Tennis Association do not want to close the roofs unless there is rain. Players under cover would have an unfair advantage over those on the outside courts.

Not that those in the night matches, Federer and Maria Sharapova among them on Tuesday, don’t have an advantage over those out in the midday sun, which as the lyrics go is for mad dogs and Englishmen. And on Tuesday for Djokovic, a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 winner over Martin Fucsovics, and Caroline Wozniacki, who beat one-time champ Sam Stosur, 6-3, 6-2.

“Yeah, it was very hot conditions for sure,” said Wozniacki, the Australian Open champion. “I just tried to stay cool. We got a little lucky. In the shade, I was able to cool down a little bit. So that helped.”

Marin Cilic, who won the Open four years ago, was a winner when his opponent quit — well, the explanation is “retired” — at 1-1 in the third set after losing the first two sets, 7-6, 6-1.

“Conditions were extremely tough,’ said Cilic. ”Very humid, very hot. The ball was flying a bit more than usual, so I was having a tough time trying to control it. I was missing some easy balls, making unforced errors that are not that usual for me.”

He won. Whatever the situation, the better players inevitably do, which is why they are the better players.

Djokovic was the best player a couple of years ago, in the rankings and in the minds of most others. He had a stretch of four straight Grand Slams, from the 2015 U.S. Open through the 2016 French Open. Then he collapsed.

Maybe because of a bad elbow. Maybe because of reported family troubles. Now, after a win at Wimbledon a month and a half ago and victory over Federer in Canada, he’s back.

He did worry Tuesday because he said the heat made him feel sick during his match, even asking for assistance. The No. 6 seed, Djokovic recovered while taking the 10-minute break before the fourth set and then breezed without losing a game.

Argentine Leonardo Mayer, one of those who couldn’t finish, said of the allowed recess, “Ten minutes? I would have needed an hour and a half.”   

Djokovic and Fucsovics only needed to take an ice bath. That was cool, in more than one way.


S.F. Examiner: No black bras, green headbands at 21st-century Wimbledon

By Art Spander
San Francisco Examiner

WIMBLEDON, England — The authorities are making underwear checks at Wimbledon. But only for the women, of course. “It’s creepy,” said Caroline Wozniacki, one of the top female players and social media targets. The ladies get equal pay at The Championships, but very unequal scrutiny.

It’s still the 19th Century around here. Eugenie Bouchard, the Canadian, reportedly was fined the other day for wearing a black bra under the obligatory white blouse, causing Claire Cohen of the Telegraph to write, “It’s 2015 and we’re still discussing female tennis players’ lingerie over their performance on court.”

Read the full story here.

©2015 The San Francisco Examiner


Los Angeles Times: Tennis star Caroline Wozniacki comes out ahead in the long run

By Art Spander
Los Angeles Times

She's the Wizard of Woz, the woman who ran the New York City Marathon — "You don't know what the wall is until you hit it," she said — who posed, tastefully, for the recent Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue . . . who once was ranked No. 1 . . . who only Sunday won the Malaysian Open, her 23rd WTA tournament victory,

Caroline Wozniacki, one of the many stars at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, at age 24 has done almost everything. Other than win a Grand Slam tournament.

Read the full story here.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times


Bleacher Report: Revived Caroline Wozniacki Eyes 2014 US Open Title After Maria Sharapova Upset

By Art Spander
Featured Columnist

NEW YORK — We called her the Woz, a word play on the Wiz, and on a court Caroline Wozniacki certainly looked like a wiz, a winner, even if she didn’t own a Grand Slam. There wasn’t a shot she couldn’t chase down; there wasn’t a ball she couldn’t return.

She was No. 1 in the women’s rankings for 67 weeks, and in 2009 she made it to the final of the U.S. Open. A loss to Kim Clijsters seemed only a blip, a hiccup as the tennis people say. The Woz was 19, and had to get better.

Read the full story here.

Copyright © 2014 Bleacher Report, Inc.


Wozniacki stands up for McIlroy, and herself

By Art Spander

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – They’re not knocking Caroline Wozniacki this week. It’s her boyfriend who’s taking the figurative punches. That would be the walkoff lad himself, Rory McIlroy. And yes, contends the Woz, he’s still her boyfriend.
They were sport's fun couple, until they were transformed into sport’s troubled couple. Wozniacki, having fallen from No. 1 in the women’s world tennis rankings, is being faulted for too many faults – serving, that is -- and a slightly overdone impression of her friend Serena Williams, which was labeled everything from silly to racist.
McIlroy, still No. 1 in the men’s golf rankings, walked off the course during the second round of last week’s Honda Classic and walked into a buzzsaw, everyone from Jack Nicklaus to McIlroy’s playing partner at the Honda, Ernie Els, reminding him – and us – that his judgment was as poor as his game.
"Apropos of nothing and pertinent to everything," was the cleverly cutting comment on McIlroy’s departure after the eighth hole last Friday by James Corrigan of the London Daily Telegraph.
McIlroy first complained, “I was not in a good place mentally.” Corrigan, on hearing McIlroy say later he withdrew because of an impacted wisdom tooth, pointed out, “He meant he was not in a good place dentally.”
Preparing to play in this week’s Cadillac Championship at Doral, on Wednesday, McIlroy gave his unblinking apology to the media gathered there, and to a Golf Channel audience, which three time zones and some 2,500 miles distant included Ms. Wozniacki,
“He said what he had to say,” Wozniacki remarked at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden where she and the game’s other top stars, women and men, minus one -- a very important one, Serena -- are competing in the BNP Paribas Open.
“He was honest,” Wozniacki insisted of McIlroy’s comments. “Now he’s got to go out there this week and hopefully play some good golf.”
A few days back, the London papers carried stories saying that the 22-year-old Wozniacki, of Denmark, and the 23-year-old McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, had ended their two-year romance.
“We’ve been in the media spotlight so long separately,” Wozniacki answered when asked what’s like to date another headliner. “It’s nothing new. We’ve gotten so used to it, we don’t really pay attention anymore – unless it’s a rumor like the one the other day that we’ve broken up. Oh really? Thanks for letting me know.”
There’s no place to hide, as McIlroy conceded. He’s growing up in front of the world. His mistakes – you don’t withdraw from a golf tournament for anything short of a family emergency or serious ailment – are learning experiences with millions ready to offer advice or abuse.
Before Wimbledon last year, columnist Oliver Brown of the Telegraph dropped down to one of the warmup events for the women at Eastbourne on the English Channel, where Wozniacki was playing and McIlroy was watching.
“Quietly, and assuredly not of their own choosing, McIlroy and Wozniacki have been elevated to the realm of the power couple; the ‘Brangelina’ of sport, if you like,” Brown offered. “But their recent results encourage a thought, however uncharitable, that the pair are not exactly aiding each other’s professional progress.
“McIlroy has missed four cuts in his past five tournaments and, according to one observer, wafted at his final putt in the U.S. Open at San Francisco with an absentmindedness to suggest he could not wait to board the latest departure of ‘Wozilroy Airlines’ fast enough.

“His belle, meanwhile, has lost four of her past six matches and is without a WTA title in 10 months.”
Two months later, in August 2012, McIlroy would win his second major, the PGA Championship, heading to money titles for the year on both the PGA Tour and European Tour. So much for being absentminded.
And while Wozniacki hasn’t won in a while, in February she reached the semifinals at Dubai and the quarters at Doha. And who are we to interfere in the love lives of others, famous or not?
“I don’t think I have a problem,” said Wozniacki. “When you’re No. 1 and not winning everything, there’s basically just one way to go, and that’s down. I’m healthy. I feel like I’m playing well, so people can say what they want. But I have a life, and I’m happy I have a life.”
The problem, then, is not hers, it’s ours. Caroline Wozniacki isn’t whining. True, she isn’t winning either, but she has won, 20 tournaments and more than $14 million. And she’s known what it’s like to be at the top.
“Everybody wants to be No. 1,’’ Wozniacki affirmed. “No doubt about it. But right now, my focus is just trying to play well, to try and win tournaments.”
On the other side of the country, her boyfriend, Rory McIlroy, virtually was saying the exact same thing.