In a wide-open Women’s singles draw at the US Open this year, one of the contenders for the title will be Caroline Wozniacki. Seeded fifth, the Dane has twice reached the final in New York and has been one of the most consistent performers on tour this year.
The US Open has been the strongest Grand Slam tournament by far, being the only major where she has been in the final. Runner-up in both 2009 and 2014, Wozniacki turned a poor 2016 season around by reaching the last four in New York last year despite being ranked outside the top 70 in the rankings, and she will be hoping for another good showing this time around.
Early 2017 performances
Wozniacki was only the 17th seed at the Australian Open and fell to Johanna Konta in the third round, though reached the second week at the French Open and at Wimbledon. Including in Paris, the Dane has also reached multiple quarterfinals at tournaments in Auckland, Sydney, and Indian Wells, though had some stronger results earlier on as well. She reached back to back finals in February, falling to Karolina Pliskova in Doha and to Elina Svitolina in Dubai, and she also reached the final in Miami in April, losing to Konta.
The clay court season leading into the French Open was unsurprisingly a weak part of the season, with early losses in four tournaments (in Prague, Madrid, Rome, and Strasbourg) though rebounded with her run in Paris, and then reached a fourth final of the year in Eastbourne, losing once again to Pliskova. Wozniacki made a fifth final of the year in Bastad on clay shortly after Wimbledon, though once again lost as Katerina Siniakova took the title.
Hard Court summer
The Dane kept to her usual schedule for her US Open build-up, playing at the Rogers Cup in Toronto and at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati; she will be fairly satisfied with what was a relatively good two weeks.
Seeded sixth, Wozniacki started well in Toronto, easing past Ekaterina Alexandrova and tenth seed Agnieszka Radwanska to make the last eight. There, she battled past world number one Karolina Pliskova in a thrilling contest, before easing past Sloane Stephens to make the final. However, there she was easily beaten by Elina Svitolina; she has not won a set in any of her six finals this season.
After a disappointing end to what had generally been a good week at the Rogers Cup, Wozniacki rebounded in Cincinnati with an impressive win over Elena Vesnina in her opening match. The sixth seed backed that up with another good win over Ashleigh Barty to make the last eight, this time falling to Pliskova in straight sets.
Best US Open result
As previously mentioned, the Dane has twice made the final at Flushing Meadows; eight years ago in 2009, and five years after that in 2014.
She was seeded ninth back in 2009, and beat the likes of Sorana Cirstea as she made the second week without dropping a set. In her fourth round match, she rallied from a set down to beat sixth seed and former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, before ending the fairytale run of Melanie Oudin to make her first Grand Slam semifinal. There, she eased past Yanina Wickmayer to make the final, where she fell to 2005 champion Kim Clijsters in straight sets.
Five years later Wozniacki had a little resurgence during the hard court summer after a disappointing couple of seasons, and seeded tenth in New York, beat the likes of Andrea Petkovic to make the second week. Her fourth round encounter proved to be a classic, battling past sixth seed Maria Sharapova in a thrilling contest, and then dropped just one game against Sara Errani to reach the last four. Her semifinal ended in unfortunate style, though she progressed as Peng Shuai retired, before falling to world number one Serena Williams in the final.
Wozniacki will undoubtedly be disappointed by her inability to win a title this season, though has had a strong season overall and is seemingly able to find her best tennis in New York. It seems that she may well be primed for another deep run over the coming weeks.