Wozniacki looks for new coach

2011-10-25 21:13
Caroline Wozniacki (File)

Istanbul -World No 1 Caroline Wozniacki confirmed here on Tuesday she is attempting a new coaching arrangement to help her end her Grand Slam drought.

The 21-year-old Dane, top of the rankings for 55 weeks without yet having won a Grand Slam, will be season-end No 1 for the second successive year if she wins the title at the WTA Championships which started starting here on Tuesday.

That would be her most important title so far, yet it is clear that she still has bigger things on her mind.

"For now I think I'll try maybe something in the off season, but I don't know how everything will work out," replied Wozniacki when asked about the coaching question.

"So for now, yeah, I cannot really say too much."

Wozniacki agreed that she had some names in mind but didn't want to mention any names as she didn't know how things were going to develop.

That is partly because her father Piotr, a former professional footballer from Poland, has coached her from the moment she started playing tennis at the age of four.

Her father has reminded her often that if she ever felt she needed an alternative coach, he would be prepared immediately to stand back.

But he has always remained her primary coach, even when she used the services of the highly regarded Sven Groeneveld, a coach who works for Adidas.

Wozniacki has also sought advice from Martina Navratilova, who is sometimes described as the greatest woman player of all time and who won 18 Grand Slam singles titles.

"Caro has been the best player day in, day out," said Navratilova.

"She needs to win a Slam, she wants to win a Slam and most likely next year she’ll win one."

Nevertheless, after Wozniacki’s disappointing fourth round loss at Wimbledon in July, Piotr was reported as making sarcastic remarks about media critics who said his daughter should consider hiring a new coach.

Soon afterwards Wozniacki wrote on her blog: "I know there are many who criticise me and who want, among other things, that I need to change coaches. The period I have to go through now is not easy.

"That is why I will take my precautions about how I must make myself ready for the challenges ahead! I am sorry to have disappointed my fans but I will get strong again and will do anything to get even better."

Here in Istanbul Wozniacki re-emphasised that any change - which increasingly looks likely - would be a joint decision between herself and her father.

"I mean, like always my dad will still be there and he'll be my main coach," she said.

"Yeah, we'll just have to see what's gonna happen in the off season. It’s still a little bit under talk.

"I'll be working, erm, I'll try something new, but I will work with my dad. My dad is still the main coach. So I'll just get some input from the outside."

Nevertheless Wozniacki clearly remains proud of her top ranking, even if her first major title remains infuriatingly elusive.

"I think it's a great feeling to wake up in the morning and know that you're No 1 in the world and there's no one above you on this planet. So that's pretty cool.

"But at the same time, you know, that you're always a target. All the other players want to find a way to beat you. But hopefully I can be the target for a long time."

She was being targeted first here by Agnieszka Radwanska, the in-form Pole who came with a great late run to become the last of the eight qualifiers for the WTA Championships.

Then Wozniacki will play two more group stage matches, with Petra Kvitova, the Wimbledon champion from the Czech Republic, and with Vera Zvonareva, the former Wimbledon and US Open finalist, from Russia.


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