A former finalist in 2009 and 2014 Caroline Wozniacki turned up to New York on the back of a difficult year with injury issues and poor form ranked at 74 now the Dane is on her best run since March 2015 as she has progressed to the quarter finals of the US Open after a composed, controlled and efficient performance to see off Madison Keys in straight sets.
Return of serve
One thing that was evident early on was the read of the serve that Wozniacki had.
Keys is throwing in this serve at 108-120mph and even higher at times and look at the control from Caro. Standing position but feet positioned to move either side with just one simple step and not too far behind the baseline. This was a theme throughout the whole match and I was surprised Keys didn’t pick up on this and try to use the kick serve out-wide more to push Caro away from the middle of the court.
Next caption above is the second serve moments after, same service motion and direction but Caro is inside the baseline anticipating the ball going towards the backhand and failed to hold serve with the Dane breaking.
It can be feared and it can be gift and well it was like Christmas had come early at times for Caro the errors coming off the forehand from Keys was extraordinary! At times I said during the match it seemed like she was rushing too many points and 33 unforced errors speaks volumes especially in a two set match. 30 winners is great but quickly cancelled out by the errors.
Forehand and retreat
If you want to see a player attack from a defensive position on the court and be efficient watch Caro.
Time and time again we saw that forehand down the line or cross court and her first thought was back to the middle and go again there was no admiration of a good shot but celebrations were saved for post rallies and not during them and you have to credit her for that.
You aren’t going to beat Wozniacki when she is playing like this from the baseline, it’s virtually impossible her court coverage is exceptional and I am so happy to see Caro back in the big time at one of the biggest events in the world!
Screenshots credit to British Eurosport TV