Wozniacki Plots Route Back To The Top
Published January 05, 2013 09:39
For most players, a 2012 that contained two titles and a Top 10 finish would be cause for celebration. But then Caroline Wozniacki is not most players.
Having started the year at World No.1 and with aspirations of finally ending the wait for a maiden Grand Slam crown, Wozniacki cannot help but look back upon her last campaign with a tinge of regret.
Rather than bemoan her bad luck, though, the 22-year-old Dane threw herself into pre-season training, kicked off with a week and a half of punishing altitude training in the Rocky Mountains.
"Pre-season training is so important for players because this is really our only extended period of time where we can work on improving our weaknesses and turning them into strengths," Wozniacki said. "I spent some time in Aspen, Colorado where I did 10 days of high-elevation training.
"Obviously it is much more difficult to catch your breath during workouts at that elevation. Once you get back closer to sea level you can see the difference and the improvement."
In 2013, Wozniacki hopes to reap the rewards of not only this arduous training regimen, but also a more settled coaching structure.
After working with first Roberto Sanchez and then Thomas Johansson in the past 12 months, the World No.10 is now being coached exclusively by father Piotr once again.
"My dad is back as my full-time coach," she said. "We experimented with two other coaches in 2012 and it didn't work out.
"I have a new trainer and hitting partner from Poland - two great guys who have done a wonderful job over the past several weeks. They keep me motivated each day to continue working to get better and stronger.
"Now I'm back to working with my dad and feel really good about the progress we are making together. He was my coach when I finished 2010 and 2011 as the No.1 player in the world. I hope to get back to that top spot soon."
Unfortunately for Wozniacki, her first outing of the season, at the Brisbane International, did not go according to plan, as she suffered a surprise first round loss to Ksenia Pervak.
"Obviously you're a competitor so you want to win and you're not happy about it when you lose, no matter who you lose to or how you lose," she said after losing the two hour, 48 minute marathon. "I fought until the end. Maybe I didn't play my best tennis, but it's tough to expect that from yourself in your first match back."
The second match, a comfortable win against Urszula Radwanska in Sydney on Sunday, was a different story, and a few more performances like that will further fuel the belief that maybe, just maybe, she can break her major duck in Melbourne in three weeks' time.
"I'm just happy to get the first win of the season under my belt and just move on," she said after defeating Radwanska. "The Australian Open is one of my very most favorite tournaments.
"I have always done well in Melbourne but have never captured the title. Hopefully this will be my year. I love the city, the weather and most especially the Aussie people. They are so fun to perform in front of."