WOZNIACKI IS NUMBER ONE, BUT NOT THE BEST

Caroline Wozniacki this week became the 20th female player to
ascend to the world number one spot.

It is some achievement for the 20-year-old from Denmark, whose
emergence has been one of the stand-out stories on the
WTA this year.

That she also claimed the China Open yesterday to complete a
wonderful few days says much about her focus; keeping her eye on
the prize despite achieving the more noteworthy feat of topping the
rankings.

”I’m very proud I can call myself the number one in the world
now. It’s an incredible feeling and something I’ve always worked to
achieve,” Wozniacki said.

But is she really the best player in the world?

Quite simply, no.

Her record in grand slams – the benchmark for all players – is
distinctly average.

Her best result was being runner-up to a returning Kim Clijsters
at last year’s US Open while in 2010 all she has been able to
manage is a semi-final run at her preferred Flushing Meadows.

Wozniacki reached the last 16 at the Australian Open and
Wimbledon – where she was hammered 6-2 6-0 by Petra Kvitova – and
fared slightly better at the French, losing to eventual champion
Francesca Schiavone in the quarter-finals.

Compare this to Serena Williams, the player supplanted by
Wozniacki.

In her three grand slams in 2010, Williams has won two – in
Australia and at Wimbledon – and reached the last eight at Roland
Garros.

On the American, Wozniacki commented: ”She’s a great champion.
What she has achieved in her career is a dream for me to
achieve.

”I’ll always see Serena as a big champion. For me right now
though, I should just enjoy my moment.”

It is evident Wozniacki looks up to Williams and so she
should.

The 29-year-old has won both of their two meetings and remains
unquestionably the best player in the world.

That this is this not reflected in the rankings is due to a
number of factors.

Firstly, Williams is a different player at the majors to the one
she is at the regulation tournaments.

Wozniacki has won six events in 2010, Williams two – both grand
slams.

The American also suffered a foot injury after Wimbledon and has
not played since. And the fact she is unlikely to return this year
means she won’t be able to defend the sizeable points tally she
accrued from her victory at the season-ending Tour
Championships.

So Wozniacki’s stay at the top of the rankings could be
prolonged.

Yet come Melbourne at the start of next year, bet on Williams to
once again show who is really at the top of the tree.