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Old Jun 22nd, 2008, 07:06 AM   #1
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Articles and Interviews

Caroline Wozniacki: A great Dane
Part of article: http://www.tennishead.net/prozone/ho...19/great-dane/

“I just saw it as an opportunity to show the world who I am, that I can play,” Wozniacki tells Tennishead casually, like taking the women’s tour by storm as a teenager is no big deal. “I had to start from the beginning again, and I really found that fun to just go out and think that every match I win is a big plus. If I lost a match it was fine, and if I won it was great, so step-by-step I came up the rankings.” As well as her refreshingly relaxed approach to playing tennis, she’s proved that she also has the weapons and mental toughness to rely on when the opportunities come along in big matches. “Senior players are more consistent and hit harder, but think a bit better than the juniors,” she explains. “They take the first opportunity that they have, not the second or third; if they have one chance they take it. I think mentally I’m pretty sharp. I don’t give up.”

That winning mentality is probably in her genes. With her dad, Piotr, a Pole who played pro football in Denmark, mum Anna who played volleyball for Poland and an older brother, Patrik, who’s an amateur footballer back home in Denmark she grew up in a pretty competitive environment, something that used to surface when she played soccer herself as a kid. “I’m really competitive so if I’m not better than the others I don’t want to play any more,” she says matter of factly. Her father has had a hand in her tennis since she began playing aged seven and her parents still travel on the tour, accompanied by recent addition to her entourage, Swedish coach Henrik Holm, a former top 20 player himself who is employed by the Danish tennis federation. Internet rumours in February suggested Jimmy Connors was being lined up to help with her game too. “I did all different kinds of sports [when I was younger]… I don’t think there’s a sport that I haven’t tried!” she admits. “And then suddenly I played tennis a little bit, and no one wanted to play with me because I was too bad.

“I just wanted to show the whole world that I wasn’t bad. I was playing against the wall for hours each day and I thought it was fun. And then one day my dad took me on the court and he wanted to practice with me and that’s how it started. And I got better than my parents, better than my brother, and I made some small goals and I achieved them and I wanted to become better and better.”

As well as improving her singles ranking, the teenager says she is determined to make sure she makes her Olympic debut in 2008 when the Games visit Beijing in August. “It’s a main goal for me because the Olympics is only every fourth year, and it’s a great achievement to go there and play and fight for some medals.”Success at the Olympics would guarantee her serious superstar status back home in Denmark. Even before her Australian Open exploits, the Danes were talking about her becoming their biggest sports star of all time – no mean feat in a football-obsessed country that has churned out greats such as Michael and Brian Laudrup, legendary goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, as well as Tour de France cyclists Bjarne Riis and Michael Rasmussen.

Major sponsors haven’t been slow in recognising her appeal. The logos of Babolat, adidas, Danish financial services group Nordea, JBJ Group, Sony Ericsson and Danish travel insurance company Europæiske Rejseforsikring A/S adorn her personal website, she’s already appeared on talk shows back home and has shot two TV commercials for Sony Ericsson and Europæiske.

Is she bothered by the attention? Not a bit. “Everyone knows me in Denmark now. If I go outside the door everyone wants autographs and are talking, but I like it – it’s fun. It feels good.” Like any authentic sports superstar, she now lives in Monte Carlo, having moved to the, ahem, tax-free principality in January 2007. It’s obvious Denmark is still close to her heart, though, (“It’s beautiful, with nice people,” she says, but “a little bit too rainy”) and confesses that being the only Dane on the WTA tour gets lonely at times. “Sometimes it is, we have some guys that are playing, but no girls, and so it is hard because you want to compete with someone positively and you want to have someone to talk to as well… [I miss] some of my friends that are at home, and my brother who is there and playing soccer, and I miss the atmosphere.”
Maintaining contact with all things Denmark is helped by the fact that Caroline is still a student, dedicated to completing her schoolwork by mixing tennis with long distance learning. “It’s important to get an education in case something happens,” she explains. It’s a mature approach to life for a 17-year-old, but something tells us she won’t be needing her geography, history or algebra any time soon. Someone who knows a thing or two about being a teenage prodigy, Martina Hingis, feels the same – and expects big things. “Caroline is a strong up and coming player with a lot of potential,” she said last year. “She just needs to keep on going with what she’s doing. She’s going in the right direction. I think she is very talented and can go a long way.”

Tennishead says: Watch out for Wozniacki!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2008, 07:11 AM   #2
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WOZNIACKI OUSTS KUZNETSOVA By Bill Pierce, PA Sport, www.sportinglife.com

Caroline Wozniacki gave another indication of her promising talent as she blew away Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova at windy Eastbourne in the £300,000 International Women's Open. The 17-year-old Dane, who has Polish parents but adopted the country of her birth, has burst through this year into the world's top 40. And she will be one to watch next week at Wimbledon where the women's draw has been thrown wide open by the retirement of brilliant Belgians Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters and the annual uncertainty over past champions Venus and Serena Williams.

Wozniacki was born in the same town as Hans Christian Andersen, and after winning both the Wimbledon and Australian junior crowns two years ago she looks set for more fairytale success after demolishing world number five Kuznetsov 6-2 6-2 in just 65 minutes. It added much-needed drama to a dismal day at Devonshire Park where France's Amelie Mauresmo, the 2006 Wimbledon champion, followed American Lindsay Davenport and Ana Ivanovic in dropping out through injury. Mauresmo, now down to number 30 in the rankings after a nightmare year, felt a left thigh injury only three games into her second-round match against Samantha Stosur. Davenport ducked out yesterday with a knee problem.

But despite the absence of several players, Wozniacki was happy to take centre stage and admitted she has her sights set on reaching the top. "Of course, like everybody else, I want to be world number one and win Grand Slams. I'm taking it day by day but who is to say it is impossible," she said. "Svetlana is certainly the best player I've beaten. She's number four or five in the rankings and it is a great result for me.

"I'm really happy. I have been practising very hard this year and my fitness has improved a lot. I think that has come from practicing a lot with guys and learning to combat their physical strength. "It's not difficult to find good tennis facilities in Denmark. Okay, we may be more famous for handball and badminton but there is plenty of opportunity for tennis players, too." Wozniacki, who celebrated her win with an ice-cream on the Eastbourne promenade, now has a quarter-final meeting with Australian Stosur tomorrow.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2008, 07:16 AM   #3
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Eastbourne's Dane is dynamite, www.theargus.co.uk

The flashlights and furiously clicking cameras in the post-match press conference told their own story. Eastbourne may just have witnessed the birth of a new star of women's tennis. Danish sizzler Caroline Wozniacki did not just defeat top seed Svetlana Kuznetsova - she destroyed her.


The Russian world No. 4 was blown away 6-2, 6-2 in only 65 minutes on a windswept centre court in the second round of the International Women's Open. It was Kuznetsova's heaviest defeat since losing 6-1, 6-1 to Kim Clijsters in the season-ending championships in 2006. True, she was badly out of sorts in the gusty conditions, serving a hat-trick of double faults in one game (including a foot fault) and eight in total.

It was, nevertheless, a stunning and timely triumph for Wozniacki. The 17-year-old has burst onto the scene like a breath of fresh air to rescue a tournament starved of glamour by the withdrawal last week of new world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic and riddled with injury-induced apathy.

Denmark is not an obvious breeding ground for such a bright prospect. The last player they produced of any note was Tina Scheuer-Larson back in the 1980s and she was hardly the household name which Wozniacki could become if she maintains her progress since winning junior Wimbledon two years ago. Wozniacki said: "We have been Olympic champions in handball three times. In badminton we've had the world No. 1. I think there is more tradition in these kind of games, because we have really accomplished something in them. "Tennis just seemed like the best thing for me. I was the boss on court and I liked that. No-one was telling me what and what not to do. "Tennis is such an individual sport. I think it is up to yourself how good you can be. I always practice with the guys back at home and I think that has helped my game. They play differently and a bit faster than the girls."

Kuznetsova dropped just five games in their only previous meeting at Indian Wells earlier this year. Nobody at Devonshire Park anticipated such a rout in reverse, including Wozniacki. Asked if she was surprised, she admitted: "I was a little bit. I've been close to getting sets against top players before. I am really happy to have closed out the match. "I just enjoy playing on grass, the fast and flat game. It's important to have good serves and return well."

Kuznetsova, the 2004 champion and semi-finalist on her other two Eastbourne appearances in 2005 and 2006, did neither. She held serve only three times as Wozniacki, consistent on both wings and scrambling effectively when she needed to, threatened a second set whitewash when she romped into a 4-0 lead.
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Old Jun 29th, 2008, 09:39 PM   #4
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Jankovic battles through knee injury to put down great Dane

Serbian No 2 seed looks unconvincing as Wozniacki earns plaudits in defeat

By Tim Glover at Wimbledon www.independent.co.uk
Sunday, 29 June 2008

Jelena Jankovic, you may or may not be surprised to learn, is ranked No 2 in the world and on the face of it that doesn't say a great deal about the world. Still, the 23-year-old from Belgrade overcame two handicaps yesterday, a suspect left knee and an admirable adversary.

Caroline Wozniacki, experiencing the rarefied heights of the third round at Wimbledon for the first time in her young career, did herself, her country, Denmark, and the women's game proud with a performance that, at times, lit up the Centre Court. Wozniacki, at just 17, is a star in the making. Playing with a maturity and confidence beyond her years, she took the first set 6-2 and another major upset was on the cards until the Serb's weight of shot gradually began to wear her opponent down.

Jankovic, who won the mixed doubles here with Jamie Murray last year, prevailed 2-6 6-4 6-2 in a contest that lasted two hours and five minutes. At least that's what the Rolex said, although the actual playing time was a bit shorter. After levelling the match at a set apiece, Jankovic called for the assistance of the trainer, who trooped on, rucksack on back, looking as if she'd yomped from Land's End.

There has been an inordinate number of withdrawals from these championships and for a while it looked as if Jankovic, who has never been beyond the fourth round, would join them. Before the start of the final set she had her left knee examined and then the joint was strapped up with enough tape to shroud a mummy. "I slid in the first set and my leg went straight and then bent so quickly," Jankovic said. "There was a sharp pain but I continued to play and it was getting worse and worse. On grass you have to stay low and bend a lot. I was struggling a bit but somehow came through. It's very sore now. I'll have a scan. I don't think it's that bad."

As in the second set, Wozniacki lost her serve in the opening game, surprised perhaps by her opponent's mobility in spite of the tourniquet. Between points Jankovic staged a sort of go slow, grimacing behind the baseline and clutching the dodgy knee. However, during the rallies, of which there were plenty, she was running around like a spring, free-range, chicken. With Jankovic leading 3-2, the trainer reappeared, this time to remove the yards of tape that had been so lovingly applied. "The physio wasn't happy about that but with the tape I felt like I couldn't move." It didn't stop her expressions of discomfort, nor in winning her next service game to love. Another break of serve enabled her to open up a 5-2 lead and the teenager from Copenhagen had reached the end of the road. At least in the singles. She barely had time to reflect on her defeat before regrouping for a doubles contest.

With the abrupt departures of Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic, Jankovic is the highest seeded player left in the women's draw. Can she win, à la Tiger Woods, on one leg? She will struggle on two.

She was exposed by the potentially great Dane, a former Wimbledon junior champion, in the first set – how can the land of Legoland, bacon and beer produce a contender here while all the Brits had long gone home? – as Wozniacki, wearing ankle guards, produced serves approaching 110mph. In chasing down shots she was more of a terrier than a Dane and her impressive double-handed backhand was more often than not a winner. Another feature of the match was the number of challenges both players made and calls were often made by margins smaller than the width of a cigarette paper.

"My opponent didn't have anything to lose," Jankovic said. "Her body's quite strong and mature for her age. She's very young. I didn't know she was that young. Of course I'm more experienced and have played many more matches on Centre Court. I'm the No 2 seed, the No 2 in the world." It's still hard to believe.

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Old Jul 13th, 2008, 08:30 AM   #5
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http://ekstrabladet.dk/sport/anden_s...cle1031453.ece

Quote:
What you give a girl who reaches the age of 18?

-- A driving licence?

-- No, I have taken. In Florida. It lacks only to be 'translated' to the Monegasque, so I can use it in Europe, says Caroline Wozniacki with a big smile.

Hmmm ...

-- Well, what do you want?

-- I have no idea. I have everything. I wanted me a pair of sunglasses, but these I have just received, so ...

-- One might well wish for something you can get in Beijing and the surrounding area later this summer ...

-- That you can. I do so also. But this project depends of course of much.


-- I have just returned from my grandmothers funeral in Poland. It was hard, because we obviously are very close, even if there is physical distance.

-- She was only 68 but has been ill for a long time and been through so much, so it was better, she died the way she did, than that she should be in a long time and suffer without being able to do something. Some are born, others die. That is, after all, says Caroline Wozniacki.


Now, its time for tennis again.

-- My form has like predicted dropped a bit, and what I should do now is to do a lot of physical training. Running, running, running. That is what it is about in Austria, where the tournament is played in the 2500 meters height. I would use it as a training camp, where I also have some matches.

-- My physical form will be rebuilt in Austria, and I hope that the tennis form will follow.

-- Will you win the gold?

-- I do hope so. Nothing is impossible. We shall see, says the girl with the licence. She is missing 'only' 29 spots to be where there is not something to be desired - on the sporting front.
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Old Aug 10th, 2008, 01:07 PM   #6
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Wozniacki Wins First Career Title in Stockholm

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - One of the most promising young stars in the women's game won her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title close to home on Sunday, as Scandinavian No.1 Caroline Wozniacki absolutely stormed through the draw at the Nordea Nordic Light Open in Stockholm without losing a set.

Wozniacki first began making noise on the Tour in 2006 and 2007, reaching the quarterfinals or better a total of five times and cracking the world's Top 100 last summer; but she has upped the ante in a big way this year, reaching the quarters or better four times (including once at a Tier I event and once at a Tier II), getting into the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time (at the Australian Open) and notching three Top 10 wins (two over Marion Bartoli, one over Svetlana Kuznetsova).

Coming into Stockholm as the world's No.26-ranked player everyone knew she would be tough to beat. Seeded No.4, she rolled through her first three matches of the week losing just 12 games in six sets (including a 61 63 drubbing of No.5 seed Anabel Medina Garrigues in the quarterfinals). The difficulty level shot up as Saturday's semifinals were rained out, meaning whomever would be champion had to win back-to-back matches on the Sunday. And Wozniacki did just that, taking out No.1 seed and defending champion Agnieszka Radwanka handily in the morning, 64 61, then routing Vera Dushevina in the afternoon, 60 62.

"I'm very happy I've won my first title!" Wozniacki said. "It's always tough to play two matches on the same day, but Vera had to do it as well. At the start I had her under pressure and I think that frustrated her. She played better in the second set and began putting pressure on me instead. She had break points at 2-all there and I think getting out of that was the key to the match."

Wozniacki's win over the No.10-ranked Radwanska was her fourth Top 10 win of the year, and with her first Tour title in hand she is sure to continue re-evaluating her goals for the 2008 season, as she approaches the world's Top 20.

"In the beginning of the year my goal was to be in the Top 50," said the Dane, who turned 18 years old in July. "I've kept on moving it up since."

Wozniacki is the highest of two Scandinavian players in the Top 100. The only other one, 68th-ranked Swede Sofia Arvidsson, was forced to withdraw from this year's Nordea Nordic Light Open due to a right knee injury. After Wozniacki and Arvidsson, one has to go down to No.189 on the rankings to find the next-highest-ranked Scandinavian (Sweden's Johanna Larsson).

Wozniacki also became the first Danish player ever to win a Tour singles title. She isn't the first Dane to win a Tour title of any kind, however: Tine Scheuer-Larsen won seven Tour doubles titles in the 1980s and 1990s, partnering the likes of Mercedes Paz and Jana Novotna.
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Old Aug 10th, 2008, 05:09 PM   #7
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Old Aug 23rd, 2008, 07:54 PM   #8
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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 11:12 AM   #9
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Wozniacki Wins Second Title of Summer in New Haven

NEW HAVEN, CT, USA - Before this year she wasn't even in the Top 50, but after this week she will become the newest addition to the Top 20. Caroline Wozniacki was in strong form all week at the Pilot Pen Tennis and on Saturday afternoon had a fairy tale ending, upsetting No.1 seed Anna Chakvetadze in the final for her her second Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title of the summer.

Despite being unseeded at the Tier II stop, Wozniacki had few problems in reaching the final, not dropping a set in four matches - including a 64 60 win over No.3 seed Marion Bartoli in the quarterfinals and a tougher, 75 64 win over No.7 seed Alizé Cornet in the semifinals, in which she had to rally from 0-3 in the second set to dispatch her fellow 18-year-old in two sets.


Chakvetadze - who had only dropped one set en route to the final, to resurgent former world No.1 Amélie Mauresmo in the semifinals - had all of the numbers on her side as she prepared for the title match. Although she had never played Wozniacki she had far more experience, having been as high as No.5 in the world before and enjoying some of her best career results on summer hardcourts; she was also 7-0 lifetime in finals, a perfect record that included one winning final performance earlier this year, beating Agnes Szavay at Paris [Indoors].


Chakvetadze won the first set of the final, 6-3, in just 39 minutes, then broke for a 1-0 lead in the second set, seemingly on her way to 8-0. But that was when Wozniacki came alive, cutting down on her unforced errors and taking control of more of the points. The Danish upstart fought back to win the second set, 6-4, then cruised through the third set in 25 minutes to complete a 36 64 61 victory.


"Anna was playing really aggressive; I was playing into her game too," Wozniacki said. "I was thinking, if I win this tournament I have to play my own game, and make her do the things I want her to do. I realized I'd lose if I didn't change something anyway, so I just tried to change my tactics. And it worked."


"I just didn't recover from yesterday match well enough," said Chakvetadze, whose semifinal match against Mauresmo was played Friday night. "I just didn't have enough power, especially in the third set. It's quite important that you're able to run and fight on the court. If you can't do that, you're going to lose.


Although she ended up without the title, Chakvetadze still had some positives to take away from New Haven.


"I won quite a few matches and I'm actually pleased with my game, except for today," said Chakvetadze, who hadn't reached a final since Paris [Indoors] in February. "If I compare the way I played to one month ago, it's much better. I'm looking forward to playing the US Open. It's the most important tournament. I'll get a day off in between each match so hopefully I can stay fresh for each one."


Wozniacki had several breakthrough results earlier in the year - reaching the fourth round or quarterfinals in her first five events - but since Wimbledon she has really upped the ante, including becoming the first Danish woman ever to win a Tour singles title at Stockholm and now repeating the feat in New Haven. Before this year she wasn't even in the Top 50, but after this week she will become the newest addition to the Top 20, projected to rise from No.22 to No.18.


"My first title was in Scandinavia, but it was smaller than this," Wozniacki said. "This is a really big tournament before the US Open and I beat some really great players to win it. I'm just happy to have won both tournaments!"


Wozniacki has now won 12 of her last 13 matches, going 5-0 here and 5-0 in Stockholm, and 2-1 at the Olympics last week (she fell to eventual gold medalist Elena Dementieva in the third round).
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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 11:52 AM   #10
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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 03:30 PM   #11
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Wozniacki Defeats Chakvetadze In Pilot Pen Final
By LORI RILEY | Courant Staff Writer
August 24, 2008

Carolina Wozniacki returns the ball during to top seed Anna Chakvetadze during the third set of the Pilot Pen Women's championship match. (CLOE POISSON / HARTFORD COURANT / August 23, 2008)



NEW HAVEN - — Caroline Wozniacki's father was a professional soccer player. Her older brother plays professionally. Her mother was a member of the Polish national volleyball team.

"I was born into a very competitive family," Wozniacki said. "I'm really competitive. I hate losing."

Friday, she said the first time she beat her brother in tennis was her best experience. But Saturday might have been better.

Wozniacki, who became the first player from Denmark to win a WTA title earlier this month, won her second at the Pilot Pen Saturday afternoon, upsetting top-seeded Anna Chakvetadze of Russia 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 before 5,477 at the Connecticut Tennis Center.

Wozniacki, 18 and unseeded, took advantage of 27 unforced errors by Chakvetadze in the second set. Chakvetadze, who broke Wozniacki in the first game to take a 1-0 lead, slowly fell apart and double-faulted in the final game of the set.

Chakvetadze, 21, had 59 unforced errors; Wozniacki, 25.

"I think I just didn't recover from [Friday's] match," said Chakvetadze, who is ranked 11th and should move into the top 10 when the WTA rankings are released Monday. "It finished quite late. We played three sets, and I didn't really sleep well.

"I just didn't have power, especially in the third set. If you are not able to run and fight on the court, then you are going to lose the match."

Wozniacki, who will move up from 22nd to 18th, hadn't lost a set in New Haven until Saturday. Chakvetadze hadn't lost a final (she was 7-0).

But there were signs Friday that Chakvetadze's game was not quite where it was last year when she advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Open. She lost the second set to Amelie Mauresmo in the semifinals Friday, largely due to unforced errors. Saturday, her serve was inconsistent and she had seven double-faults

"Caroline is a good player," Chakvetadze said. "She doesn't hit that hard, but she plays consistent. So against her I should play quite aggressive and not do so easy mistakes like I did, especially in the third set."

Wozniacki said she changed her mind-set going into the second set.

"I was just playing her game," she said. "I was thinking, 'If I want to have a chance to win this tournament, I have to play my own game and do the things I want her to do.'"

There are only three players from Denmark ranked in the WTA. Wozniacki is the only player in the top 450. She started playing tennis at age 7, but she was far from a typical tennis prodigy. Instead of playing at a tennis academy, she played against her friends for ice cream. Her father is her coach.

"For me, it was just being with my friends, having a good time," she said. "We'd have like, a grill party or whatever, then went and played a little bit, then went off again. That's the way I liked it to be. We were playing for ice cream every day."

She laughed and said she planned to celebrate before heading to New York for the Open. The Pilot Pen trophy, a large crystal cup, sat next to her on the podium.

It looked like it could hold quite a few scoops of ice cream.
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Old Aug 31st, 2008, 11:35 AM   #12
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Re: Articles and Interviews

Theres 4 pages in `BT` today, go grap it danskere!!!
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Old Aug 31st, 2008, 03:22 PM   #13
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Re: Articles and Interviews

Quote: "As I see it, there are only THREE who can win the US open: The sister Williams and Caroline Wozniacki" - Ana Ivanovic


Pretty cool
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Old Aug 31st, 2008, 06:40 PM   #14
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Re: Articles and Interviews

If only she was right
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Old Sep 4th, 2008, 10:40 PM   #15
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Re: Articles and Interviews

Great article (plus video) on Caro

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/ten...e_d&id=3561438
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