Tennis

Wozniacki senses ‘great’ Aussie Open

Caroline Wozniacki declared she was preparing for a "great" Australian Open as she closed in on regaining the world top ranking despite a surprise defeat in the WTA Auckland Classic final yesterday.

The 27-year-old Dane is projected to rise to No. 2 in the world when the new rankings are released today and if results go her way in Australia she could make a record-setting return to No. 1, a position she last held six years ago.

The current record for the longest gap between being ranked No. 1 is held by Serena Williams who spent five years and 29 days off the top spot between Aug 10, 2003, and Sept 8, 2008.

Although beaten 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) by world No. 14 Julia Goerges in the Auckland final, Wozniacki said her preparations for Melbourne were on track.

"I've got a lot of matches under my belt this week, it was the preparation I hoped for," she said.

"Now I can take a day off tomorrow and fly to Melbourne and get used to courts over there, and the conditions, and hopefully it's going to be a great couple of weeks.

"Everyone wants to be No. 1, but it's something I've done before and obviously it would be nice to do it again, but honestly I think I'm just thinking about being in the finals, holding trophies, lifting trophies."

Wozniacki started last year ranked No. 19 and by the end of the year, after winning the WTA Finals, she had risen to No. 3.

Meanwhile, Goerges is expected to rise from 14 to 12 when the next rankings come out as she enjoys a rich vein of form having won 14 straight matches and three consecutive tournaments. - AFP

Tennis