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Caroline Wozniacki and Simona Halep both reached their third grand slam at this year’s AO, and one of the two will emerge as a grand slam champion for the first time.

I think Halep will win this. Wozniacki has the H2H advantage (4-2), but Halep is clearly the better player. In addition, Wozniacki has never beaten a top 4 seed in a grand slam.

(1) Ivanovic (4) d Wozniacki (NS), fourth round AO 2008, straight sets
(2) Ivanovic (2) d Wozniacki (30), third round FO 2008, straight sets
(3) Jankovic (2) d Wozniacki (31), third round Wimbledon 2008, straight sets
(4) Jankovic (2) d Wozniack (21), fourth round US Open 2008, three sets
(5) Serena Williams (1) d Wozniacki (10), final US Open 2014, straight sets
(6) Kerber (2) d Wozniacki (NS), semi final US Open 2016, straight sets


If Wozniacki loses the final, her grand slam record will start to look a lot that of Helena Sukova, who was recently selected to enter the tennis HOF mainly due to her grand slam doubles success.


Sukova reached the finals of four grand slam tournaments spread out over nine years. Her weakest slams were the French Open (only once reached the semi finals) and Wimbledon (5X quarterfinalist, never reached the semis). Wozniacki has yet to reach the semifinals of the French Open or the quarterfinals of Wimbledon.

Sukova’s grand slam finals:

(1) 1984 Australian Open, lost to Chris Evert (2) in 3 sets, defeated Martina Navartilova (1) in semifinals
(2) 1986 US Open, lost to Navratilova (1) in straight sets, defeated Evert (2) in semifinals
(3) 1989 Australian Open, lost to Steffi Graf (1), defeated Navratilova (2) in quarterfinals
(4) 1993 US Open, lost to Graf (1), defeated Navratilova (3) in fourth round

Wozniacki’s grand slam finals (so far)

(1) 2009 US Open, lost to Kim Clijsters (WC) in straight sets, defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova (6) in fourth round
(2) 2014 US Open, lost to Serena Williams (1) in straight sets, defeated Maria Sharapova (5) in fourth round
(3) 2018 Australian Open, final against Simona Halep (1), no top 15 wins to reach final


All signs point to a Simona Halep victory. Isn’t it fascinating that Helena Sukova never rose past number four in the world, but has (as of today) a significantly better grand slam resume than Caroline Wozniacki who was a YE number one player for two consecutive years?
 

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I don’t see how every point turns towards Halep, just because Wozniacki has never beaten a Top4 seed at a slam. :spit:
Caro has the clear physical advantage and should be able to make great use of that with her consistency. And she leads the H2H as well!
Simona has been tested a lot more here against arguably tougher opposition, but Caro still had to dig deep against Fett and Suarez to some extent.
I think it is nearly impossible to really predict much. Even though I lean toward Caro because she should be better rested!
I just hope we have a good final between two great players!
 

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Sukova didn't match-up well with any of the players she faced in those Slam finals. She had pretty poor H2Hs against all of them (she did managed to beat Martina three times in a Slam, but two of those wins were after she faced her in that US Open final). Wozniacki has a winning H2H against Halep :shrug: The only thing that suggests that Halep will win are the betting odds.
 

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Sukova reached the finals of four grand slam tournaments spread out over nine years. Her weakest slams were the French Open (only once reached the semi finals) and Wimbledon (5X quarterfinalist, never reached the semis). Wozniacki has yet to reach the semifinals of the French Open or the quarterfinals of Wimbledon.

Sukova’s grand slam finals: 4 [...]
Wozniacki’s grand slam finals (so far): 3 [...]

All signs point to a Simona Halep victory. Isn’t it fascinating that Helena Sukova never rose past number four in the world, but has (as of today) a significantly better grand slam resume than Caroline Wozniacki who was a YE number one player for two consecutive years?
Your analysis is faulty, because a given round achieved in the 80's is not worth the same as the identical round in the 2010's. At that time, the tour had almost no depth, and top-5 players almost always made the quarterfinals. Today you regularly have seeds, even top-5 seeds, stopped by lesser ranked players in round one or two. Wozniacki herself fell to hot players outside the top 40 numerous times, despite being a staple top-10 player for most of her career. So if you want to make a meaningful comparison, you'd need to reduce Sukova's achievements by roughly two rounds: a win becomes equal to a SF today, a final to a QF and so on. That's also a major reason that other comparisons across eras, like Serena to Graf or even worse to Court are pretty meaningless.

I believe that if Wozniacki stops on Sunday with no slams, she'd be a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame. They appear to have about 230 inductees, so I'll extrapolate to 20-30 persons selected per decade, presumably more in more recent times. I cannot think of 10-15 women more worthy of recognition than her (in terms of presence, titles, weeks at #1 and other achievements, which are not limited to slams) in the past decade: Serena, Venus, Maria, Kim, Azarenka, maybe Li Na and Kerber, and Muguruza if you really stretch it, with Serena/Venus also overlapping with the previous decade.

As for signs pointing to Halep's victory on Saturday, I'll agree that Simona is the favorite, but not because of Caroline's opponents in previous slams. Rather, it is Simona's better form right now relative to Caroline, her offensive mindset, and being unaffected from what could have been an injury that give her the edge.
 

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So if you want to make a meaningful comparison, you'd need to reduce Sukova's achievements by roughly two rounds: a win becomes equal to a SF today, a final to a QF and so on.
That is faulty, too. Shriver's only Slam final will still be more significant than Flipkens' only Slam semifinal and Mandlikova's four Slams will still mean infinitely more than Jankovic's five Slam SFs + her US final. The picture of the player holding the trophy has always been more meaningful than just beating bigger names.

I believe that if Wozniacki stops on Sunday with no slams, she'd be a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame. They appear to have about 230 inductees, so I'll extrapolate to 20-30 persons selected per decade, presumably more in more recent times. I cannot think of 10-15 women more worthy of recognition than her (in terms of presence, titles, weeks at #1 and other achievements, which are not limited to slams) in the past decade: Serena, Venus, Maria, Kim, Azarenka, maybe Li Na and Kerber, and Muguruza if you really stretch it, with Serena/Venus also overlapping with the previous decade.
No slamless player has ever made it to the HoF, though. Li, Kerber, Muguruza, Kuznetsova and even Myskina, Ivanovic, Schiavone, Stosur, Bartoli, Pennetta, Ostapenko and Stephens have, at the moment, more chances of getting inducted. I mean, Pierce has not even been inducted, yet (and there aren't many other retired Slam-winning players that didn't get inducted yet). When there are no players in the list to get inducted due to their track in singles, the committee falls for a doubles player. Sukova is the last WTA player selected to be inducted and it is due to her doubles results. If they run out of names around, who knows, 2030, then it's pretty probable that Errani and Vinci are some of the players that would be leading the pack over slamless ones.
 

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That is faulty, too. Shriver's only Slam final will still be more significant than Flipkens' only Slam semifinal and Mandlikova's four Slams will still mean infinitely more than Jankovic's five Slam SFs + her US final. The picture of the player holding the trophy has always been more meaningful than just beating bigger names.
That seems a superficial answer to me. Of course the winner is celebrated, and there is a tendency to equate all or most wins, mostly because human memory and classification ability is limited. But when looking at a topic more closely, we should be able to see what makes a slam in 1985 different from a slam in 2018.

If slams during an era had a 32-person draw, wouldn't that make the winner less worthy than when they have a 128-person draw? Surely it should, because it's a lot more difficult to win a slam in the second case, especially when the opponents are competitive with the top players. Chris Evert (whom I love) played 56 grand slams, and made the semifinal in 52 of them (93%); Serena Williams played 65 grand slams so far, and made the semifinal in 33 of them (51%). Do you think that this shows that Evert was a much better player than Serena, or that reaching a semifinal in Serena's era (which still included earlier years not as competitive as today) was a lot more difficult than in Chris's era? Achievements should be credited according to their difficulty; it's not reasonable to count Evert's slam semifinals as the same kind of achievement as Serena's.

No slamless player has ever made it to the HoF, though. Li, Kerber, Muguruza, Kuznetsova and even Myskina, Ivanovic, Schiavone, Stosur, Bartoli, Pennetta, Ostapenko and Stephens have, at the moment, more chances of getting inducted. I mean, Pierce has not even been inducted, yet (and there aren't many other retired Slam-winning players that didn't get inducted yet). When there are no players in the list to get inducted due to their track in singles, the committee falls for a doubles player. Sukova is the last WTA player selected to be inducted and it is due to her doubles results. If they run out of names around, who knows, 2030, then it's pretty probable that Errani and Vinci are some of the players that would be leading the pack over slamless ones.
I think the true test for this will come in a few years, when really good slamless players like Jankovic might be considered. Again, it was a lot easier to earn a slam twenty years ago than it is today, because there were fewer players able to stop a good player, so it is tough to find people with a good tour record and no slams. I have argued elsewhere against this obsession with slams in the tennis world. I don't know how the induction committee makes its decisions, but if they are not able to adapt their criteria to the modern era, and consider a career like Pennetta's, Vinci's, or Ostapenko's (so far) as anywhere near the career of an hypothetically slamless Wozniacki or even Radwanska, then the HoF loses all credibility in my opinion.
 

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That seems a superficial answer to me. Of course the winner is celebrated, and there is a tendency to equate all or most wins, mostly because human memory and classification ability is limited. But when looking at a topic more closely, we should be able to see what makes a slam in 1985 different from a slam in 2018.

If slams during an era had a 32-person draw, wouldn't that make the winner less worthy than when they have a 128-person draw? Surely it should, because it's a lot more difficult to win a slam in the second case, especially when the opponents are competitive with the top players. Chris Evert (whom I love) played 56 grand slams, and made the semifinal in 52 of them (93%); Serena Williams played 65 grand slams so far, and made the semifinal in 33 of them (51%). Do you think that this shows that Evert was a much better player than Serena, or that reaching a semifinal in Serena's era (which still included earlier years not as competitive as today) was a lot more difficult than in Chris's era? Achievements should be credited according to their difficulty; it's not reasonable to count Evert's slam semifinals as the same kind of achievement as Serena's.
Well, to give a more recent example: I certainly remember than Bartoli, as a player outside the top 10, didn't face any player ranked above her in Wimbledon 2013. Five years from then, I don't think many people cares about her run been kind of simple when compared to other winning runs. She's still remembered as a Wimbledon winner without anyone (ok, maybe in TF - but we are still a very small crowd) putting an if to her win. She may not be seen in the eyes of many tennis fans as a greater player than others but she still has that Slam win for her. It's like (I know, this will be a superficial comparison, but the reactions about it are pretty similar) when someone complains about an actor winning an Oscar as the best of a weak field: the posters of that actor's next film will say "Academy Award Winner" above his name even if it doesn't feel like he gave something worthy of a trophy.

I think the true test for this will come in a few years, when really good slamless players like Jankovic might be considered. Again, it was a lot easier to earn a slam twenty years ago than it is today, because there were fewer players able to stop a good player, so it is tough to find people with a good tour record and no slams. I have argued elsewhere against this obsession with slams in the tennis world. I don't know how the induction committee makes its decisions, but if they are not able to adapt their criteria to the modern era, and consider a career like Pennetta's, Vinci's, or Ostapenko's (so far) as anywhere near the career of an hypothetically slamless Wozniacki or even Radwanska, then the HoF loses all credibility in my opinion.
The HoF has indeed a very Slam-based criteria. Winning five Slams is what determines direct induction - with a certain number of weeks ranked as #1 (I think it is a minimum of 20 or something like it) reducing the number of Slams for direct induction to 3 (and that criteria was established last year). Now, if Woz wins this Slam she'd be the closest among the one-time winners to be a shoo-in for induction (at least if we take basis on Sabatini's induction, who, as much as she's my favorite player ever, she certainly achieved less than all the other female players that got inducted for their career in singles) considering the number of weeks as number one she achieved. But we still don't know what the HoF will decide in the next few years - for all I can say, Marcelo Ríos has never even been close to get inducted so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
(1) Wozniacki has never beaten a top 4 seed in a slam (0 for 6)

(2) Wozniacki has never been competitive in a slam final; Halep was close to winning her two finals

(3) Halep’s level of play against Pliskova and Kerber was significantly higher than Wozniacki’s level against Suárez Navarro and Mertens in the last two rounds of the tournament

(4) Wozniacki has reached 3 grand slam finals in her last 34 attempts. Her three semifinal grand slam victories were against unseeded opponents ranked outside the top 30 (Wickmayer, Peng, Mertens).


It’s hard to believe that Wozniacki is going to step up and beat the number one player in the world in the AO final after years of underperforming at grand slam events, even if its Simona Halep.

Still, Sloane Stephens and Jelena Ostapenko are grand slam champions so anything is possible :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That is faulty, too. Shriver's only Slam final will still be more significant than Flipkens' only Slam semifinal and Mandlikova's four Slams will still mean infinitely more than Jankovic's five Slam SFs + her US final. The picture of the player holding the trophy has always been more meaningful than just beating bigger names.



No slamless player has ever made it to the HoF, though. Li, Kerber, Muguruza, Kuznetsova and even Myskina, Ivanovic, Schiavone, Stosur, Bartoli, Pennetta, Ostapenko and Stephens have, at the moment, more chances of getting inducted. I mean, Pierce has not even been inducted, yet (and there aren't many other retired Slam-winning players that didn't get inducted yet). When there are no players in the list to get inducted due to their track in singles, the committee falls for a doubles player. Sukova is the last WTA player selected to be inducted and it is due to her doubles results. If they run out of names around, who knows, 2030, then it's pretty probable that Errani and Vinci are some of the players that would be leading the pack over slamless ones.
Wozniacki won’t get in with no slams, but she will if she just wins one.

One slam wonders Gabriela Sabatini, Jana Novotna, Michael Chang, and Andy Roddick are all in.

They still won’t let Mary Pierce, Sergi Brugera, and Yevgeny Kafelnikov through the doors. Kafelnikov, with two slams and a gold medal, certainly deserves entry.
 

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Wozniacki won’t get in with no slams, but she will if she just wins one.

One slam wonders Gabriela Sabatini, Jana Novotna, Michael Chang, and Andy Roddick are all in.

They still won’t let Mary Pierce, Sergi Brugera, and Yevgeny Kafelnikov through the doors. Kafelnikov, with two slams and a gold medal, certainly deserves entry.
Novotna had one of the best careers in doubles in the Open Era to add to this, though. She was more than a one-slam wonder. Kafelnikov's entry may be getting stopped atm due to the claims of match-fixing that started being made near his retirement but I don't want to go further off-topic.
 

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Caroline Wozniacki and Simona Halep both reached their third grand slam at this year’s AO, and one of the two will emerge as a grand slam champion for the first time.

I think Halep will win this. Wozniacki has the H2H advantage (4-2), but Halep is clearly the better player. In addition, Wozniacki has never beaten a top 4 seed in a grand slam.

(1) Ivanovic (4) d Wozniacki (NS), fourth round AO 2008, straight sets
(2) Ivanovic (2) d Wozniacki (30), third round FO 2008, straight sets
(3) Jankovic (2) d Wozniacki (31), third round Wimbledon 2008, straight sets
(4) Jankovic (2) d Wozniack (21), fourth round US Open 2008, three sets
(5) Serena Williams (1) d Wozniacki (10), final US Open 2014, straight sets
(6) Kerber (2) d Wozniacki (NS), semi final US Open 2016, straight sets


If Wozniacki loses the final, her grand slam record will start to look a lot that of Helena Sukova, who was recently selected to enter the tennis HOF mainly due to her grand slam doubles success.


Sukova reached the finals of four grand slam tournaments spread out over nine years. Her weakest slams were the French Open (only once reached the semi finals) and Wimbledon (5X quarterfinalist, never reached the semis). Wozniacki has yet to reach the semifinals of the French Open or the quarterfinals of Wimbledon.

Sukova’s grand slam finals:

(1) 1984 Australian Open, lost to Chris Evert (2) in 3 sets, defeated Martina Navartilova (1) in semifinals
(2) 1986 US Open, lost to Navratilova (1) in straight sets, defeated Evert (2) in semifinals
(3) 1989 Australian Open, lost to Steffi Graf (1), defeated Navratilova (2) in quarterfinals
(4) 1993 US Open, lost to Graf (1), defeated Navratilova (3) in fourth round

Wozniacki’s grand slam finals (so far)

(1) 2009 US Open, lost to Kim Clijsters (WC) in straight sets, defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova (6) in fourth round
(2) 2014 US Open, lost to Serena Williams (1) in straight sets, defeated Maria Sharapova (5) in fourth round
(3) 2018 Australian Open, final against Simona Halep (1), no top 15 wins to reach final


All signs point to a Simona Halep victory. Isn’t it fascinating that Helena Sukova never rose past number four in the world, but has (as of today) a significantly better grand slam resume than Caroline Wozniacki who was a YE number one player for two consecutive years?
That says it all about Wozniacki. At least Sukova defeated top 4 players multiple times.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Novotna had one of the best careers in doubles in the Open Era to add to this, though. She was more than a one-slam wonder. Kafelnikov's entry may be getting stopped atm due to the claims of match-fixing that started being made near his retirement but I don't want to go further off-topic.
Agreed. Jana Novotna belongs in the HOF. Not sold on Sabatini or Chang.
 

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Sukova wasn't better than Wozniacki. Just a final in plus, but Wozniacki played way more tournament finals. As a singles players, because she was excellent on doubles.
 

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Plus I don't like the comparison with the 80s, which was a poorer era. Even in the 90s, there was only some players at the top. Now we find at least 100 solid WTA players, not just 10 like in the 90s. Now you can get eliminated very easily. Look at Fett for instance, ranked #120!

I don’t see how every point turns towards Halep, just because Wozniacki has never beaten a Top4 seed at a slam. :spit:
Caro has the clear physical advantage and should be able to make great use of that with her consistency. And she leads the H2H as well!
Simona has been tested a lot more here against arguably tougher opposition, but Caro still had to dig deep against Fett and Suarez to some extent.
I think it is nearly impossible to really predict much. Even though I lean toward Caro because she should be better rested!
I just hope we have a good final between two great players!
Halep is tired and injured, period. This is a strong argument for not trusting her. She may be favourite though.
 

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(1) Wozniacki has never beaten a top 4 seed in a slam (0 for 6)

(2) Wozniacki has never been competitive in a slam final; Halep was close to winning her two finals

(4) Wozniacki has reached 3 grand slam finals in her last 34 attempts. Her three semifinal grand slam victories were against unseeded opponents ranked outside the top 30 (Wickmayer, Peng, Mertens).
These depend on current form and the opponents. For example, Wozniacki lost in three sets in her QF against Ostapenko in Paris, and there is no reason to believe that she wouldn't do the same if it was the final. Also, while she met unseeded opponents in her previous semifinal victories, she did beat seeds like Kuznetsova, Sharapova, and Keys at slams, just in earlier rounds. Bunching 2013 Wozniacki's stats with those of the 2017 or 2018 version makes little sense.

Wozniacki had never won the YEC before, or beaten Venus, or beaten a reigning #1, or had a great record against top-10 players before 2017, yet she accomplished all those within a single year.

(3) Halep’s level of play against Pliskova and Kerber was significantly higher than Wozniacki’s level against Suárez Navarro and Mertens in the last two rounds of the tournament
This is the only valid point I find in your argument. Which can very well support the position that Simona is more likely to win, but does not make your other points relevant.

It’s hard to believe that Wozniacki is going to step up and beat the number one player in the world in the AO final after years of underperforming at grand slam events, even if its Simona Halep.
By this token, she is the number 2 player in the world and they are not that far apart, neither is Halep that dominant a #1 in general. Their last match ended 6-0 6-2 in favor of Wozniacki, and that was after Simona made the Beijing final and Caroline had a miserable Wuhan/Beijing.

It will all depend on which form each will bring on Saturday. Both are capable of beating the other. Recent form evidence supports Halep, possible tiredness / physical conditioning / state of the serve support Wozniacki. What happened in a very small sample of other slam finals several years ago does not seem very relevant to me.
 

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(1) Wozniacki has never beaten a top 4 seed in a slam (0 for 6)

(2) Wozniacki has never been competitive in a slam final; Halep was close to winning her two finals

(3) Halep’s level of play against Pliskova and Kerber was significantly higher than Wozniacki’s level against Suárez Navarro and Mertens in the last two rounds of the tournament

(4) Wozniacki has reached 3 grand slam finals in her last 34 attempts. Her three semifinal grand slam victories were against unseeded opponents ranked outside the top 30 (Wickmayer, Peng, Mertens).


It’s hard to believe that Wozniacki is going to step up and beat the number one player in the world in the AO final after years of underperforming at grand slam events, even if its Simona Halep.

Still, Sloane Stephens and Jelena Ostapenko are grand slam champions so anything is possible :rolleyes:
How does all that make her like Sukova, a player whose claim to fame is in fact beating top 4s in slams (even tho obvs. not enough times/not in final)

The is only one thing in common between Sukova and whoever loses tomorrow and that's the number of runner-ups.
 

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Sukova reached an extra slam final but she did not win the YEC or reach world number 1. To date Wozniacki has ended 7 years top 10, this year likely to be her 8th if she keeps current form going / maintains fitness. Sukova had 6 years end of year top 10 ranking. I’m sure Wozniacki has won way more higher level titles overall. I was a fan of Sukova but Wozniakai already has a more accomplished career than her.

Discussing singles only of course
 
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