Ahead of the start of the Australian Open, the first grand slam of the 2017 tennis season, the Danish media are talking up the prospects of not one, but two home-grown players in the women’s draw.
The cynics will tell you that neither is Danish, however.
Caroline Wozniacki, ranked number 17 in the tournament following a good end to 2016, was born and raised in Denmark, but is the daughter of two Poles who settled here five years before her birth in 1990.
However, if that means she’s not Danish, then by the same rationale the American 25-year-old player Julia Boserup is. Raised in California, both her parents are Danish.
Tough draw for Woz
One thing’s for sure: Wozniacki will struggle to extend a streak that started in 2011 when she made the semis. Following that, she managed to do worse every year, reaching the quarters in 2012, the fourth round in 2013, and eventually bowing out in the first round in 2016.
The natural conclusion would be that she will withdraw injured before her opening clash against Arina Rodionova from Australia on Tuesday.
But while her draw initially looks promising, and she is clearly keen to do well in Australia, a country that has always warmly received her and will appreciate her playing in its national colours of green and gold, her third round opponent is a formidable one.
Britain’s Johanna Konta grew up Down Under and regards it as her backyard, reaching the semis last year and winning the recent Sydney International in impressive form.
Generally available at 20/1, Konta is sixth favourite to win the tournament, while Woz is 11th on the bookmaker lists at 40s with most firms. Neither are tipped to win the quarter though, as tournament favourite Serena Williams stands in their way should either make it that far.
Good bet for round 2
Boserup, the world number 117, is a 2,000/1 outsider in contrast. In Melbourne at 11 am on Monday, but more or less late Sunday evening our time, she takes on Italy’s Francesca Schiavone, the 2010 French Open champion.
Schiavone, now 36, is a shadow of her former self, and she recently announced that 2017 is her retirement year.
Boserup, meanwhile, will take encouragement from her only other appearance at a grand slam: last year’s Wimbledon at which she made the third round. And a convincing 6-2, 6-1 defeat of Olivia Rogowska in just 50 minutes in the final round of qualifying in Melbourne also bodes well.
Swears she’s Danish
So how Danish does Boserup feel – surely that’s the key, not what it says on her passport.
“We speak Danish at home,” she told Ekstra Bladet.
“We celebrate a Danish Christmas, and I watch Danish television when I travel – like Den Store Bagedyst and other things. It’s hyggeligt.”
Fans in Denmark can find out for themselves what language she curses in by following the continuous live coverage of this year’s Australian Open on Eurosport.
UPDATE: Boserup beat Schiavone 6-2, 6-4 and will now face Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina, the 11th seed, on Wednesday for a place in the third round.