Friday, May 20, 2011

Roland Garros: It's Time Caroline!

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The 2011 French Open is less than a week away--

On the women's side, all eyes are on World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki as she leads the field with, well, the No. 1 seed and, of course, the most scrutiny.

Since taking over the No. 1 ranking last October, Sweet Caroline has been under a microscope as the top-ranked player. Once again, she will be answering the annoying question that has nagged her since climbing to the top, "Are you worthy of the No. 1 ranking?"

Wozniacki worked her way to the top by winning the most tournaments over the past season and a half, HOWEVER, none of them have been Grand Slam titles. Unfortunately for Wozniacki in the business of tennis you are measured by how many majors you win. Fair or unfair, that is the cold-hard truth.

Personally, I think the scrutiny is very unfair because, after all, she's only 20 and has had pretty good success in the 4 majors thus far in her short career. In the past 2+ years she was a finalist (2009) and a semi-finalist (2010) at the U.S. Open; a semi-finalist at the 2011 Australian Open; back-to-back 4th round appearances (2009, 2010) at Wimbledon and a quarter-finalist at the 2010 French Open. So it's just a matter of time before she breaks through and wins her first major title as she is at the brink of doing so. Besides it's not her fault that she has racked up a lot of computer points by winning the most non-grand slam events and by going deep in the events that she doesn't win. If she does manage to win this year's French, maybe then, she can FINALLY stop hearing the "is she worthy" chatter of holding the No. 1 ranking without a major title under her belt. GOOD LUCK, Caroline! We're all pulling for ya, sweetie!

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But in order to win her first major, chances are, that Wozniacki will have to defeat the dangerous World No. 2 Kim Clijsters, who has recovered and will be at Roland Garros after a two-month injury-plagued layoff.

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Speaking of the world's No. 2 player, she most definitely doesn't have Caroline's "major-less" problems, that's for sure. On the contrary, Clijsters is going to Roland Garros looking for her third consecutive Grand Slam title and 5th overall. She is the two-time defending U.S. Open champion and the defending Australian Open champion and is looking for a French Open title to add to her Hall of Fame resume. Clijsters has twice been a finalist (2001, 2003) at the French Open and twice a semifinalist (2003, 2006) at Wimbledon.

So will Clijsters make it 3 Grand Slams in a row and set the stage for a potential "Kim Slam" at Wimbledon or will Wozniacki finally get the monkey off her back?


Does World No. 3 Vera Zvonareva have other ideas?

Or maybe--

The surging World No. 4 Victoria Azarenka and the defending champion World No. 5 Francesca Schiavone may want to spoil the party also.

And let's not forget World No. 6 Na Li and World No. 7 Maria Sharapova who are lurking in the bushes somewhere. So all in all, it should be a great women's tournament. No doubt.

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