Oh Carolina! It’s not easy
Caroline Wozniacki has learnt her draw for the Australian Open, the first grand slam tournament of 2012, and it not an easy one.
The Dane, who found out yesterday she will still be the world number one heading into the tournament on Monday after Petra KvitovaÂ’s elimination from the Sydney International, faces a possible clash with defending champion Li Na or her biggest rival Kim Clijsters in the quarter-finals.
Her probable fourth round opponent is SerbiaÂ’s Jelena Jankovic, a player Wozniacki is hoping not to emulate by being a world number one who hasnÂ’t won a grand slam.
And although there are no obviously hard opponents in the first three rounds, she will have spied Christina McHale, 19, who knocked her out of the Cincinnati Western and Southern Open in August, in the same section as Jankovic.
Should she make the semis, her most likely opponent is the world number three, her Belarusian close friend Victoria Azarenka, or the number eight, Agnieszka Radwanska, the Pole who showed no mercy for her DaneÂ’s obvious discomfort on Wednesday night, knocking her out in Sydney 3-6, 7-5, 6-2.
Trailing 1-2 in the decider, a tearful Wozniacki took a lengthy injury timeout to have her wrist strapped, but a subsequent scan confirmed it will not prevent her from being fully fit for Monday.
Following her exit, the mediaÂ’s focus switched their attention to the Czech RepublicÂ’s Petra Kvitova and her bid to win the tournament and take the world number one spot. She failed to capitalise though, losing 6-1, 5-7, 2-6 to Li Na, a player who is returning to the kind of form that landed her the Australian Open crown last January.
Kvitova is 11/4 favourite to win the Australian Open, followed by Serena Williams (43/10), Azarenka (7) and Clijsters (10), while Wozniacki has been lengthened from 14s to 22s following the news of her injury.