Sunday, January 23, 2011
Caroline survives Latvian and kangaroo attack.
Caroline Wozniacki is no stranger to criticism. The 'Great Dane', who currently plays poster girl for the Adidas Stella McCartney range, has had her top ranking questioned from time to time, and has even had her somewhat passive mindset in tennis matches strongly refuted.
However, if the top seed was looking to validate her newly established status as the darling of the women's game, she needed a match like her fourth round win today against Latvian Anastasija Sevastova. Down 3-1 against a feisty 20-year-old opponent with a deceptively powerful running forehand, Wozniacki dug deep into her reservoir of variety and rallied to regain the break. She didn't relinquish another game in the opening set.
While Wozniacki may not possess a walloping serve or an entirely destructive backhand, her wit throughout the most taxing of rallies must never be discounted. Anastasja Sevastova can attest to that herself.
After dropping the opening set 6-3, the Latvian youngster clearly felt the effects of playing the top seed under the Melbourne sun. Hitting her backhand with less conviction in the second set, Sevastova quickly went down a break in the opening game. Despite being broken back for 1-1, Wozniacki went ahead 4-2, fending off some cunning drop shots from the Latvian.
With her chances looking increasingly grim, Sevastova abided by the old tennis cliché: just go for your shots and swing freely. She sure did, and it allowed her to level the second set at 4-4. Caroline then got the fatal brake to eventually win 6-3 6-4.
A large media pack was in attendance for Wozniacki's first press conference since her bizarre, but roundly applauded, performance in front of the microphone on Friday.
And the world No.1 didn't disappoint as she broached the topic of how she received a gash on her right leg.
"The other day I went to the park and I saw this kangaroo lying there,'' Wozniacki said.
"So I wanted to go over and help it out. As I went over to it, it just started to be aggressive and it actually cut me ... That's why I'm playing with this tape on my shin.
"I went to the doctor, they cleaned it and everything. They wanted to do a few stitches, I just told them to glue it together. I'm playing with the Steri Strips, it's looking fine, so everyone is happy.''
Shame that whole story was a concoction, as she clarified later on Twitter.
"Round 2 with the media:) hope you enjoyed my kangaroo story, hope you know i was just kidding:) see you on tuesday for round 3!,'' the Dane tweeted.
Too late for many members of the press who had already filed their story to all corners of the globe.