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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 2010, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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The WTA's saviors: Caroline Wozniacki, Yanina Wickmayer

http://blog.oregonlive.com/tennis/20...wickmayer.html


The WTA's saviors: Caroline Wozniacki, Yanina Wickmayer

By Douglas Perry, The Oregonian
February 03, 2010, 5:01AM



The women’s game is in trouble. The Australian Open featured two grizzled, been-there-done-that veterans in the final and two semifinalists who really shouldn’t have a prayer of ever winning a major. I mean no disrespect to China’s Li Na and Zheng Jie, who deserve kudos for their dogged games and the Final Four results that came from them. But both punched above their weight in Australia; an in-form Kim Clijsters or Maria Sharapova or Dinara Safina or Venus Williams, etc., will always run them right off the court and up into the third row. The problem is that the top women aren't in form often enough, and especially not when it matters. As I’ve stated before, a healthy WTA wouldn’t produce, back to back, a U.S. Open champion (Clijsters) and an Australian Open finalist (Justine Henin) who were retired from the game just a couple of months before their two-week Grand Slam runs. If women's professional tennis wants to continue to be taken seriously, something's got to change.

So what do we do to save the WTA from itself? We must direct our best wishes to the next generation. It’s time to give up on the Never-Should-Have-Beens (Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic) and Should-Have-Beens-But-Weren’ts (Safina, Elena Dementieva, Nicole Vaidisova) and put our hopes in some true Might-Yet-Be players who can reignite enthusiasm in the tour (and, oh yeah, consistently play top-notch tennis).

There are a number of promising possibilities, but I will focus on two telegenic women who are currently knocking on the door of Grand Slamdom: Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki and Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer, who faced off against each other in last year’s U.S. Open semifinals.

We’ll start with Wozniacki, who pushed herself into the final of that U.S. Open. Her crafty, arrhythmic game reminds me of late-’90s Martina Hingis. In 2006, weary of watching the Marcos Baghdatis-Rafael Nadal semifinal on the big screen outside Wimbledon's Centre Court, I wandered over to the outside courts and stumbled upon the junior girl’s final. There Wozniacki was, poking at Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova like a snotty little brother, smiling all the while. When Rybarikova would curse and throw down her racket in frustration, Wozniacki’s smile only widened. It was still the first set, but it was the smile of a champion. (Sure enough, Wozniacki won the match.)

The knock on the 19-year-old is that she doesn’t have the big shot that can hurt you. This deficiency in Wozniacki’s game is obvious enough, but it’s also been overstated. Wozniacki is 5’ 10” and sturdily built. Her passive, ball-chasing game is a holdover from her juniors career rather than a Michael Chang-like physical necessity. She’s managed to get into the Top Five with that retriever style, and she’s starting to figure out that if she wants to make that last big jump into Serena Land then she’s got to step in and mash the ball.

Perhaps the best reason for plumping for Wozniacki is that she doesn’t suffer from the great, debilitating disease that’s currently ravaging the WTA: Choke-itis. This is one Dane who is blissfully free of indecision. She knows what she wants to do out there and she executes, even in the most trying situations.

The same can be said for Yanina Wickmayer. She dropped out of the clear blue sky last fall to reach the U.S. Open semifinals, but that was no fluke. A little over a week ago, heading into her fourth-round Australian Open match against Henin, I wrote: "She has all the physical tools to make the leap [into the Top Five]. With her long, tensile limbs, her quick feet and her throw-down-the-gauntlet attitude, this 20-year-old is a champion in embryo. It's that last attribute that is most important." I insisted that by the end of the year she would be ranked higher than her countrywomen Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters.

Despite her three-set loss to Henin, I stick by those words. Wickmayer seems like a very nice young woman -- as long as you stay on her good side. She could have, perhaps should have, won that fourth-round match in Melbourne. Which is not to say that she choked. Henin is a great champion and she came up big when she needed to. Wickmayer no doubt took notes. She’s a big, rangy, natural athlete. She’s still quite a ways from reaching her potential, but she’s heading in the right direction -- and fast. Next time she and Henin meet, Wickmayer will be carrying a mallet.

With a little luck, this will be the Year of Dubya -- Wozniacki and Wickmayer. I give the Dane a decent shot at Roland Garros, and I look to Wickmayer to make a serious run at Wimbledon or the U.S. Open. The WTA had better hope I’m right.

-- Douglas Perry

Mulder: "So you're agreeing with me?"
Scully "No! You're bat-crap crazy."


Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 2010, 10:57 PM
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Re: The WTA's saviors: Caroline Wozniacki, Yanina Wickmayer

Something positive about Caro at GM - I'm shocked.

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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 2010, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The WTA's saviors: Caroline Wozniacki, Yanina Wickmayer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrissie-fan View Post
Something positive about Caro at GM - I'm shocked.
I've actually made other posts favorable to Wozniacki. This wasn't intended to be one of them. It's an article which, apart from his take on the capabilities of Wickmayer and some of his take on Wozniacki, I think is rife with nonsense.

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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 2010, 11:18 PM
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Re: The WTA's saviors: Caroline Wozniacki, Yanina Wickmayer

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Originally Posted by pov View Post
The women’s game is in trouble. The Australian Open featured two grizzled, been-there-done-that veterans in the final
-- Douglas Perry
The author dismisses Serena Williams and Justine Henin with that sentence. Two of the three great players of this generation, and, if you make allowances for the weakness of Australian Open fields pre-1986 or so, possibly two of the best ten female singles players EVER. As for the twin objets of his lust....

Wickmayer - If you're twenty years old and the biggest win of your career is Linz, you don't usually become a big time player. She's the same age as Azarenka. But I don't see a win over a top ten player, much less a big tournament win. Whereas Azarenka, in the last year, has beaten all four of the current highest ranked players on the tour. And won Miami.

But Azarenka hasn't proven she'll be better than Safina yet.

Wozniacki - Learning to hit a kill shot when you never do isn't easy. Learning WHEN to hit a kill shot may be harder. Wozniacki has skills. If you watch her against weaker opposition, she does more than just retrieve. But she's totally reactive. She doesn't control where the other player hits the ball, she depends on her speed to get her there. That's okay. Venus Williams has won a few tournaments, and she's not exactly God's gift to anticipation either. But Venus hits outright winners, and induces weak returns that are easy to kill. CaroWoz does neither.

I think this author is more interested in seeing eye-candy he likes, than tennis that wins slams.

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Last edited by Volcana; Feb 4th, 2010 at 11:31 PM.
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 2010, 11:21 PM
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Re: The WTA's saviors: Caroline Wozniacki, Yanina Wickmayer

So Ana and JJ are "never should have beens" yet Wozniacki will save the tour.

No words.

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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 2010, 11:25 PM
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Re: The WTA's saviors: Caroline Wozniacki, Yanina Wickmayer

Quote:
Originally Posted by pov View Post
We’ll start with Wozniacki, who pushed herself into the final of that U.S.
So so so so so so so so so true.
No words for Yanina.
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 2010, 11:28 PM
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Re: The WTA's saviors: Caroline Wozniacki, Yanina Wickmayer

What a bunch of bull!

Aleks Wozniak, Stephanie Dubois, Вера Звонарева, Serena Williams, 李娜, 郑洁...

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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 2010, 11:40 PM
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Re: The WTA's saviors: Caroline Wozniacki, Yanina Wickmayer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ana 2010'ovic View Post
So Ana and JJ are "never should have beens" yet Wozniacki will save the tour.
I just went back and looked, cause I'm old, and the memory ain't what it used to be.

From Berin 2007 to RG 2008, Ivanovic was ripping up the tour. People forget she made the final of RG 2007. Winning in 2008 was no shock to anybody. She was playing like she'd be a tong time presence in the top five. And then ..... I've never heard an explanation I believed. It's easier to believe she was on some undetectable drug, and went off it, or she was the victim of a sexual assualt, or that she was possessed by aliens and they went home, than to believe a fall-off in form like this was the result of too many photo-shoots, or partying too hard.

At least with JJ we know she tried some ... radical .... training methods that haven't worked out.

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Not blind. Not uninformed. We are party to atrocities. But the response of the world after 9/11 is worth noting. Even our most dire enemies offered aid. We should all be so lucky.

Last edited by Volcana; Feb 5th, 2010 at 01:29 AM.
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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 2010, 11:51 PM
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Re: The WTA's saviors: Caroline Wozniacki, Yanina Wickmayer

Quote:
Should-Have-Beens-But-Weren’ts (Safina, Elena Dementieva, Nicole Vaidisova)
i think dani should be in this group.

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Career High Singles 13 * (24 Sep 2007)
Singles Titles: Palermo, 2007, def. Martina Muller 6-0, 6-1

Beijing, 2007, def. Jelena Jankovic 6-7(7) 7-5 6-2; Budapest, 2009, def. Patty Schnyder 2-6 6-4 6-2; Budapest, 2010, def. Patty Schnyder 6-2 6-4; Prague 2010, def. Zahlavova Strycova 6-2 1-6 6-2
Has wins over Schiavone, Radwanska, Hantuchova, Stosur, Petrova, Peng, Dementieva, Safina, Bartoli, Lisicki, Ivanovic, Pennetta, Azarenka, V. Williams.
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 2010, 11:55 PM
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Re: The WTA's saviors: Caroline Wozniacki, Yanina Wickmayer

I stopped reading after "Her crafty, arrhythmic game reminds me of late-’90s Martina Hingis."
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post #11 of 58 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2010, 12:03 AM
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Re: The WTA's saviors: Caroline Wozniacki, Yanina Wickmayer

WTA Undertakers
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post #12 of 58 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2010, 12:04 AM
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Re: The WTA's saviors: Caroline Wozniacki, Yanina Wickmayer

I don't know, I think it's a decent article though he doesn't give much credit to Justine or Serena, but he's right about the others.
But he's right, at least where Wickmayer is concerned, she's only going to get tougher and I see her as a very strong threat to GS with experience.

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post #13 of 58 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2010, 12:09 AM
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Re: The WTA's saviors: Caroline Wozniacki, Yanina Wickmayer

i just vomited.
if wozniacki and wickmayer become the future of the WTA i will literally breakdown and stab myself.
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post #14 of 58 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2010, 12:12 AM
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Re: The WTA's saviors: Caroline Wozniacki, Yanina Wickmayer

LMAO. No just no...

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post #15 of 58 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2010, 12:18 AM
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Re: The WTA's saviors: Caroline Wozniacki, Yanina Wickmayer

The article by Douglas Perry is not really about CW or YW (anything we don't know?) but a knock against Serena. Notice how he used the word "champion" four times without associating it to Serena (what is Serena Land?).
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