Why this former finalist might be favourite to make her mark in New York

Everyone wants to win. Many have, many still dream. Recent champions include Angie Kerber, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and of course Flavia Pennetta. One lady who has made the final before could be about to make her mark again and is no stranger to pleasing crowds in New York.

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This iconic picture from 2014 is Caroline Wozniacki in a nutshell. The passion, determination and fight she shows on court is second to none. Her performance against Sharapova at Flushing Meadows three years is probably my favourite performance of all time.

Wozniacki is a player who has been on the tour for so long. She has seen so much and achieved so much but what is missing from her trophy cabinet is a Grand Slam title. She’s come close in New York twice before making the final on two previous occasions and with no Serena or potentially Maria as we don’t know what will happen there it is up for grabs and the only previous champions taking part potentially this year are Angie Kerber who has been in poor form this year, Venus Williams who has made two grand slam finals this year and surprise winner from 2011 Sam Stosur.

It’s a possibility but the coming weeks are important for Wozniacki as preparations as necessary and the decision to play in Sweden this week is one I think is a great decision as she bids to find confidence and consistency going into the final major of the year.

Outstanding Wozniacki shines in New York!

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.

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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.

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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.

Keys forehand

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.

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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!

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Screenshots credit to British Eurosport TV

3 wins in a row for Wozniacki but bigger challenges lie ahead

Two-time finalist and former world number one Caroline Wozniacki came into New York ranked outside the top 50 in the world in what has been a tough year for the Dane but as every she continues fighting and is back in the fourth round winning her third match in a row for only a second time this year (first in Auckland back in January)

She has had it tough with injuries and poor form but she doesn’t stop fighting and has had some difficult opponents to overcome on route to round four.

The Dane began against a tough opponent in Taylor Townsend who push Woz to three sets and has since overcome challenges from tricky players in Svetlana Kuznetsova and today Monica Niculescu.

It is so good to see Caro playing well, bigger tests will follow as she is likely to face Madison Keys in the next round but if she could come through that you wouldn’t bet against her going towards the final weekend of the tournament.

This week so far has been a great confidence booster for Caro. She looks to have that steel and stubbornness back in her game from behind the baseline but like I said bigger tests will follow.