2018 REPORT CARD: Caroline Wozniacki failed to deliver on early promise, but didn’t disappoint
With the 2018 tennis season done and dusted, Michael Graham takes a look back on what the top players have delivered. Today, it’s Caroline Wozniacki’s turn.
Wozniacki started the season in brilliant style and was rewarded with her first Grand Slam title.
Her run to the Australian Open crown was not straight forward by any means.
Mihaela Buzărnescu, Kiki Bertens, Carla Suarez Navarro and Elise Mertens all stood between her and the final.
After coming through those matches, she faced the unenvious task of facing Simona Halep.
She succeeded, and in the process claimed her first Grand Slam title and the world number one spot.
The other four Slams were a big disappointment, however.
Clay is not her forte, and she struggled through to the last 16 at the French Open before a straight sets defeat to Darya Kasatkina.
Wimbledon was a disaster, especially after a good warm-up showing in Eastbourne.
The Dane bowed out in round two to Ekaterina Makrova, and fared no better at the US Open, where Leysa Tsurenko was her second-round conqueror.
Wozniacki can add Eastbourne and China Open titles to her Australian Open crown in 2018, which is solid enough.
In Beijing she was positively dominant, not even dropping a set en-route to lifting the trophy.
She can also point to reaching the final at the season-opening Aucklund even, where Julia Goerges beat her, and a semi-finals showing in Doha for reasons to be happy with her season.
China aside, just about all of Wozniacki’s best tennis came in the first half of the year.
After winning in Eastbourne she struggled to get going again, and her Wimbledon and US Open showings will have really disappointed her.
In her defence, though, she revealed that back in August she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which obviously adds a fresh perspective to her achievements this year.
Wozniacki started the year in the number three spot and that’s where she finished it.
She has held one of the top two positions for the vast majority of the year, however, so it may disappoint her to have slipped back to three.
That said, when you start at three it is a lot easier to slip down the rankings than climb, so maintaining her position should be seen as success.
A fine season for Wozniacki in what turned out to be tough circumstances.
2018 was the season she became a Grand Slam winner, which is always a huge step for any player.
Ultimately, the season probably didn’t deliver on it’s early promise, but it didn’t disappoint either.
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