Wozniacki Reflects on Another Early Loss

One of the constants in life is change. With Caroline Wozniacki she has experienced changes in her personal life, her ranking, and most recently a change of coach. Many argue that to be successful at an individual sport, you have to have a stable, consistent team of voices at your disposal, which Wozniacki hasn’t had inside the last couple of years.

As a result of this loss to Monica Puig, Wozniacki will fall to at least No. 45 in the rankings, which is a disastrous fall from grace given the consistency she showed at the regular events that ultimately held her ranking so high for all those years. The slumping Danish player has also fallen victim to losing a great amount of close three-set matches; Wozniacki is 1-7 in deciding set matches since the beginning of 2016. Often the mental strength of players on both tours is reflected in the regularity of coming through those sort of matches. The problem for Wozniacki is that she has not been able to get the match play she desires long term. Having missed Madrid, Rome, and the French Open (the first Grand Slam she’d missed in 35 Grand Slam events), it’s pivotal that Wozniacki puts herself in positions to play the best players in the world on a regular basis.

In addition to this, even in the lesser events, Wozniacki hasn’t been able to get the match play that she truly desires. She lost to Heather Watson in the quarterfinals of Monterrey, faltered to Anett Kontaveit in Nottingham in another field she would have expected to have done better i,n and also lost to Yanina Wickmayer early in Birmingham.

There are positives for Wozniacki in the long term. She is still finding her feet following a ten week lay off with an ankle injury, but now has the additional advice from a high-quality Grand Slam-winning coach in David Kotyza. The benefits of having an extra experienced voice is endless, as Kotyza guided Petra Kvitova to her first and second Grand Slam trophy wins at Wimbledon. Kotzya also has seen the highs and lows of Kvitova’s career both on and off the court, which stands him in good stead in preparation for his coaching role with Wozniacki.

Wozniacki Reflects on Another Early Loss

Wozniacki faced some tough questions following a tight match, but handled them very well. The first few questions were solely on the results not picking up for the Former World No.1, which Wozniacki responded quickly to.

“Not really. I mean, I feel like I played really well today. No. I mean, you don’t climb Mount Everest in one day. No, I played really well. I’m really happy with that. Yeah, the foot, the body’s feeling good. I’m pleased with that.”

Her assessment of the match was extremely positive despite the three-set loss.

“I think I hit some really great shots today. I think baseline rallies were really good, and we really hit the ball hard and consistent and in good spots. So, yeah, I’m happy with that. It’s the small margins today, really. To be honest, I think I played really well yesterday and I think I played even better today. So it’s a lot of positives to take with you. At the end of the day on grass sometimes it can be that little thing that can just make a difference. Yeah, I think I can just look up from here and just bring that confidence with me to Wimbledon and just hope for a good draw.”

An interesting take from the press conference was her current coaching situation with David Kotyza. In previous coaching relationships with Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Ricardo Sanchez, they weren’t given the license to put forward their chain of thought because of Wozniacki’s reliance on her father Piotr. One of the reporters tried to find out what role Kotyza has and will be filling in the coming months.

“Yeah, we started working and then I hurt myself before I even got to have a day off, so it wasn’t many days. That happened. But then once I could stand on my foot again, he came back and we worked every day and just worked on some technical aspects of the thing. And at the end of the day, I think he’s a good coach. He knows what he’s doing and he knows the girls, as well.

Reflections on Rio

“I think it’s nice for my dad, as well, to kind of, you know, take a bit of a step back. He’s wanted to do that for years. He says he’s not getting any younger. (Smiling.) My dad has still been there at the practices and stuff. He still comes with inputs. If there is anything he sees he talks to David, as well.”

As it stands Wozniacki will not be eligible to play the Rio Olympics, because she missed the two required Fed Cup zone group events when she was inactive with an ankle injury earlier this year. Wozniacki has appealed the decision and a hearing will take place on June the 30th. Wozniacki was questioned about how she tries to put the tricky situation out of her mind.

“At the end of the day, it’s not in my hands anymore so I don’t worry about it. I don’t worry about things I can’t control. So whatever decision they made, I’m going to accept it and then just move forward from there. Obviously I want to play the Olympics, I want to be the flag bearer, and I want to get that experience and I want to win a medal. If not, if they decide not, then I will have a week off and just prepare and just probably go somewhere nice to train for a week. I think in the end of the day, whatever it’s going to be, it’s going to be.”

Caroline Wozniacki prepares for her first grand slam since January, where she will be an unseeded player.

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