Washington - Hard work and peak fitness are the major
concerns for world number two Caroline Wozniacki as she starts her first run to
the US Open as a Grand Slam champion.
The 28-year-old Dane captured her first major title in
January at the Australian Open, downing current world number one Simona Halep
in the final, and the 2009 and 2014 US Open runner-up approaches the hardcourt
campaign ahead of New York with new confidence.
"It feels great to have won my first Grand Slam. It was
a great two weeks," Wozniacki said on Monday. "At this point, you
have to keep on working hard and try to be in the best shape possible heading
into the US Open. That's all you can do."
Wozniacki was sharp as she reached Melbourne, coming off a
title in the 2017 season-ending WTA Championship in Singapore, beating Venus
Williams in the final.
Days later, Wozniacki became engaged to former NBA player
David Lee. Wozniacki had previously been engaged to Northern Ireland golf star
Rory McIlroy but they broke up in 2014.
In her 43rd main draw Grand Slam appearance, Wozniacki
finally lifted a champion's trophy in Melbourne and reclaimed the world number
one ranking six years after last holding the top spot, eclipsing Serena
Williams by 11 months for the longest gap between reigns.
Wozniacki, who captured her 29th career WTA title a month
ago at Eastbourne, made a fourth-round exit at the French Open and lost in the
second round at Wimbledon.
"I took a little time off," Wozniacki said.
"It has been a hard season. My old trainer came in and pushed me to my
limits. I wanted to be in the best shape possible. So it feels fine."
Wozniacki has adjusted her goals after finally braking
through for a Grand Slam title, looking now for success on the same Arthur Ashe
Stadium court where she lost to Kim Clijsters nine years ago in her first Grand
Slam final and to Serena Williams in 2014.
"The motivation and hunger has always been there. It's
about resetting your goals and having another milestone," Wozniacki said.
"I reset that after the Australian Open."
Wozniacki chose the Washington event over a richer WTA
tournament in San Jose this week, happier with a shorter flight from Europe and
the same time zones as the next two US Open tuneup events in Canada and
"I just prefer being on this side (of the US),"