Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Australian Open: Sweet Caroline Soldiers On

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World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki has advanced to the Semifinals at the Australian Open.

Wozniacki is now two wins away from capturing her first-ever Grand Slam title and putting to rest the annoying chatter she hears everyday of being ranked No. 1 without winning a major title. She will face No. 9 Li Na in the semis.

Na, herself, is trying to make history as the first player from China to ever win a Grand Slam event. Na is also a formidable opponent for Wozniacki as she is making her second consecutive Australian Open Semifinals appearance, so she's been there, done that.

If all else fails, the Quarterfinal win was huge for Wozniacki because, regardless of what happens, she will retain her No. 1 ranking after the tournament. She needed to advance to at least the semis to fend off No. 2 Vera Zvonareva and No. 3 Kim Clijsters in the event either one of these ladies win the title. Goal #1 was accomplished but Sweet Caroline wants the bigger prize which is winning the title and legitimizing her No. 1 ranking in the eyes of the hostile media.

To her credit, she showed grit and toughness (which at times has also been questioned) in her Quarterfinal match against No. 6 Francesca Schiavone. After convincingly losing the first set, Wozniacki surged back and won the match, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. She seemed to be bothered by a bum leg for a while but her trainer wrapped it up nicely and it seemed to have solved the problem. In the end, she was able to rally and ultimately defeat Schiavone.

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And of course, after the match, her press conference was as eventful as the match itself. As usual her humor and million-dollar-smile had the media going in circles. It seems like she has become a master at distracting them from, as she calls them, boring questions.

Regardless of whether or not she wins the Aussie, one thing is certain, Her Royal Sweetness is on her way to fame and greatness of epic proportions. And it couldn't have happened to a nicer "chick".

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