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October 26, 2009

Caroline Wozniacki


ANDREW KRASNY: One of two players making their singles debut here and the first Danish woman to qualify for the Championships, she's the only teenager and the youngest player to qualify this year. She enters the Championships with a career-high ranking of No. 4 in the world. She's reached eight singles finals, winning titles at Ponte Vedra Beach, Eastbourne and New Haven. She reached her first Grand Slam final at the US Open. Also the first Dane to do so. This year she had 65 wins in 87 matches, both season highs among all Tour players. From Denmark, ladies and gentlemen, Caroline Wozniacki.
Questions, please.

Q. When you set out at the start of this year, did you think at the end you would be in such a high position in the world rankings?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Last year I finished 12th in the world. I was hoping I could make it in the top 10. Definitely my goal was to reach the Sony Ericsson Championships. But, yeah, I mean, I didn't expect to be 4 in the world right now. So I'm really happy about my season so far.

Q. How much higher do you think you can go?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I don't know. We have to see. I have three more spots to go to the place where I want to go. But, yeah, it's still hard work, a lot of improvement.
Yeah, I'm just taking one step at a time.

Q. Is it a big ambition of yours to get there?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, definitely. I think everyone playing on the Tour, competing on a high level, wants to become No. 1 in the world and win Grand Slams. That's also my goal.
But, yeah, as I said, I have three more spots to go. It's not easy spots.

Q. I think you played almost every week this year. You've hardly missed a week of tennis in the whole year. Because you're young, you haven't been injured, you played an extraordinary amount of tennis.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I don't know. I think 'every week', I would have to play 52 weeks a year. This year I played 26.

Q. You played 87 matches already this year. That's a lot of tennis.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah. It just means I made a lot of good results. I'm really pleased about my season so far. I had a lot of matches in each tournament. I think I can be happy about that. I think if I wouldn't have made so many matches, my ranking wouldn't be as high as it is today.

Q. Denmark is not thought of as a major tennis nation. How much has Denmark been a factor in your breaking through or have you used other countries?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Denmark has a lot of tennis courts everywhere, indoors, outdoors, all kinds of surfaces. We have good facilities there. I mean, I've worked with my dad since I started playing. Definitely my family has been my biggest supporter. Without them, I wouldn't be at the level I am today.

Q. Are there many other players coming through after you in Denmark?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I don't know so many. I know that there are maybe a few young ones coming up. Hopefully they can make it through.

Q. Can you explain exactly what happened in Luxembourg?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, I mean, at 5-All in the first set, I was serving. When I jumped on my leg after my serve, I felt the pain. I tried to serve two more serves, but the pain just got worse and worse. I asked the physio to come on court and have a look.
She taped me up. But then I tried to continue, and the pain just got worse. I asked for some retaping. At 3-Love, my dad also comes on court. That was the first time he could come on court. He talked to me. He said, Doesn't matter what the score is gonna be, if your pain is gonna be worse, there's no sense to continue. I mean, doesn't matter if it's gonna be 3-Love, 4-Love, 5-Love, if you cannot continue, you have to stop because you don't want to ruin also this tournament.
So, yeah, I mean, I felt like I could continue. But at 5-Love, the pain just got too much. I asked for the physio again. Yeah, I decided to stop. Yeah, that was it. I retired from the match. I felt like I could not continue the next match anyway. If I would win, there would be no chance.
Then Anne Kremer came to the next match. She had the possibility to play. Yeah, I mean, it was good for the tournament also that they had a match the next day. Even if I would have won, there would have been no chance for me to play the next day.

Q. After you had a problem because people said you stopped and there is a lot of betting.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: But, I mean, I didn't do anything wrong. I was injured. There was no chance for me to finish. So I decided to stop. I mean, I don't have anything to do with betting. I don't do betting myself. I'm against it. So I don't see any problems.
I went to the hospital the next day to get a scan and everything. The doctor told me that, I mean, I had a strain. Even one more point could have affected, and I would get a torn muscle. There was no way for me to finish.

Q. Now you're in good shape?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I'm getting there, yeah. I'm getting better. So I'm having treatment every day. Yeah, we'll see how everything's gonna turn out here.

Q. In general, are you in favor of on-court coaching? Do you think it's a good thing for the game?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think it's a good thing for the game. I think it just gives a little bit more excitement. And I think it's nice to have the coach coming in sometimes if you need it. It's something different.

Q. Have you heard anything from the WTA Tour about that incident, whether they're going to look into it in any way?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I mean, I think it's just regular procedure that they have someone who's looking into it. But I talked to them. I mean, there's nothing suspicious about the match that way. So there is no really a big deal out of it, no.

Q. What is it like to be, as it were, the junior partner in the top eight? Is that nice to gain experience?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, I mean, Victoria Azarenka is a very good friend of mine. So it's really nice to have her here, yeah, in the Championships, as well. We've been doing good results, both of us, this year. We've been following each other. It's nice to have her here.
Also Agnieszka Radwanska, who is an alternate here, it's nice to have her here.

Q. When you watched the draw being made last night, do you think you came out in the better of the two groups?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I don't know really. I think it's the top eight in the world, so I don't really think there is a better and a worse. I think it really depends on the day and how you're playing, who is in the best shape at a certain time.

Q. 80 or 90 matches in a season, does that create a new challenge for you, to think about how to look after your body, your schedule?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I mean, now I got my injury for the first time this year. Actually, I had a few, but small injuries. I think it's important to listen to your body and feel what you feel most comfortable with. I like playing matches. It feels like I'm on a go. I like being in a competition rather than only practicing. So for me, it was a good year. Also I got a lot of experience. Next year I'm sure that I will cut down a little bit.

Q. How much did you learn from your first Grand Slam final appearance? How much will it stand you in good stead for another if it comes along?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: It definitely helped. I mean, a Grand Slam final has always been a dream for me and a goal. Also to win, of course. But I think I had a great run at the US Open. Standing in the first Grand Slam final is always difficult and it's different. But I think I handled it practically well. Now I know what to expect if I will be in a situation like that again. I'm sure experience will help me again next time if I make it that time.

Q. What do you think you can learn from this event when it comes to getting used to playing the very top players?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, I mean, it's only great players playing here. It's a really difficult tournament to win and it gives me more experience. I can learn from the other players, as well.
I think it's just a great thing to be a part of this team of the eight best women tennis players in the world. I'm sure that this will help me like in the further tournaments.
I'll see after this tournament what I can bring out of it.

Q. A lot of countries have talented 16-year-old players who somehow don't quite make it. What do you think is the most important thing to do between those 16 and where you are now to sustain the development and keep the momentum going forward?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think it's very individual from person to person. But for me, I had the same team around me all the time. For me, my dad has always been my coach. It was important for me that he was always there, being able to travel with me and just making sure that I still enjoyed playing and practicing. I think it's important that you want to improve, want to be better every time you go on the court.
I just think it's a little bit of luck in the draws, as well, because some players may fit your game better than others. It's important to get the confidence that you're able to beat everybody on the Tour, that you believe in that.
I don't know. I think some people, they get into the rankings faster, higher faster, and other it takes time before they develop their game in full. So I think it's very individual.

Q. To keep confidence in your own ability, that's obviously very important, as well.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, it's very important. Especially in tennis, because a lot of it's in your head. It's also important to know from the coach as well the scheduling and everything so you are able to win matches and believe that you can win. Once you pass a certain level, you can take a step up.

Q. You say dad is always going to be your coach. You also used the Sven, Killer, Gil thing. How does that work with your dad being your coach? Do you go off a week or so with them?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Actually, I'm working with my dad. Yeah, he's always there. And then Sven and Gil and Killer, you call him, they're there sometimes. They come for some tournaments. They help me out. They come with some inputs from the outside. They talk with my dad, what they think I can improve. Yeah, it goes that way. So there's not too many people giving me information.

Q. That's what I mean. It can be confusing.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: They talk together, and then my dad is the one that gives me the information the last. So there's only one person communicating with me.
Of course, Sven and everybody is on court with me. If they have some small things they think I can improve, they tell me. If it's bigger things, they go through my dad.

Q. Is that off-tour weeks or tournament weeks?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Tournament weeks most. I was in Las Vegas at one point doing a lot of fitness work there. Then it was off just in the training, yeah.

Q. Was it just you? Who else was around? Verdasco does a lot of work there.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, at that time Verdasco was there, Sorana Cirstea, Sania Mirza was there. Yeah, that was it.

Q. Ever since the Williams sisters came to the fore, the majority of successful women have been power players probably as a result. Do you feel in that respect you're going against the trend in the way you play?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: A little bit I think. I think that I'm not a typical power player. I think I can play everything. I'm a good runner, I'm a good fighter, I don't give up. I'm able to change the pace and change the rhythm. I think for me, that's one of the most important things in my game.
But I think it's also important that you're able to compete with the power, as well, because otherwise they will just hit through you. That can be a problem. But I think for me and like Agnieszka Radwanska also, we're players, yeah, that are more technical and, yeah, change up the game a little bit.

Q. Do you think there's a possibility there can be more variety in the women's game in the future?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think there is a place for different players. I'm sure there will be different players coming up with different kind of games. So I'm sure that in the future, yeah, it will change a little bit. But I'm sure that the power players, there will still be power players.

End of FastScripts

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