Tennis

Wozniacki demands tough love

2012-05-31 18:07
Caroline Wozniacki (File)

Paris - Caroline Wozniacki has turned to former Australian Open winner Thomas Johansson to help deliver the elusive Grand Slam crown she so desperately craves, even if it means enduring uncomfortable doses of tough love.

The blonde Dane, who has slipped to nine in the world after twice finishing as the year-ending world No 1 in 2010 and 2011, hired her neighbour Johansson as coach, to work alongside her father Piotr.

But the 'extra pair of hands' approach has not worked so far for Wozniacki whose relationship with Spanish coach Ricardo Sanchez ended after just two difficult months earlier this year.

The 21-year-old Wozniacki has yet to win a Grand Slam title with her best performance at a major coming at the 2009 US Open where she finished runner-up.

Sweden's Johansson, who lives in the same block as the Dane in Monte Carlo, won his only Grand Slam at the 2002 Australian Open.

"I have worked with him for a couple of weeks now, he's a great guy and we have a good connection. He lives under me, has played on the tour and has won a Grand Slam," she said.

"He can come in with tactical advice, see things and he's a hard worker which suits me. He tells me what he thinks and he's not soft, which I don't like.

"I don't like it when someone tells me, 'Oh, it's great, it's great' when it's actually terrible. I want someone who is strict and tells me things how they are."

Johansson has already insisted that Wozniacki can make that extra step to a breakthrough major, but warned it will take time.

"Caroline's a great player and in my opinion she should be a fixture in the top three. We must give it some time. You can't make miracles in such a short time," he told Danish daily Ekstra Bladet.

On Thursday, Wozniacki reached the third round of the French Open, breezing past Jarmila Gajdosova 6-1, 6-4 for a sixth win in six meetings against the Australian.

She will face either Kaia Kanepi of Estonia or Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu for a place in the last 16 where she had originally been scheduled to meet Serena Williams.

But the great American's shock first round defeat to France's Virginie Razzano on Tuesday has thrown the last quarter of the draw wide open with ninth seed Wozniacki now likely to face Maria Sharapova in the last eight.

Read more on:    french open  |  caroline wozniacki  |  tennis
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