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Caroline Wozniacki looking up in the world after resilient victory

By Paul Newman

Published 01/09/2016

Pure grit: Caroline Wozniacki fought back to advance
Pure grit: Caroline Wozniacki fought back to advance

New York is Caroline Wozniacki's favourite city. The 26-year-old Dane has an apartment here, ran her only marathon in the city two years ago, loves attending Fashion Week and has enjoyed her finest sporting moments at the US Open.

She reached her only Grand Slam finals here, when she lost to Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams in 2009 and 2014 respectively. It should have been no surprise, therefore, that the former World No.1 would finally turn around the most challenging year of her career on the court she loves the most.

After losing the first four games against a resurgent Svetlana Kuznetsova, Wozniacki dug deep to win 6-4 6-4 and earn a third-round meeting with Romania's Monica Niculescu.

Even if she fails to go any further, Wozniacki will at least have reversed a slide down the world rankings to No.74, just a year after occupying a place in the top five, which had left some observers wondering whether she might even consider retirement.

The Dane was becoming a celebrity even before her engagement to the superstar Ulster golfer Rory McIlroy but has faced the most challenging period of her career after their break-up due to injuries and loss of form.

After the victory over Kuznetsova, Wozniacki said: "I stopped looking at the rankings once I fell out of the top 10. I want to get back up there and once I do I'll start looking at the rankings again.

"It's been a tough year. I've had a lot of injuries. I feel like I belong at the top and I beat someone who's been playing really well this year. That's going to build my confidence. I'm just excited to play here. It's my favourite court, my favourite fans."

The win over World No.10 Kuznetsova proved Wozniacki's resilience and determination.

She added: "I've been in this situation before. I was down 6-1 4-1 to her once before on this court but thought: 'I can do this. I can pull through'. I won both times. I'm really proud of that."

Best pals: tennis stars Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki
Best pals: tennis stars Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki
Pure grit: Caroline Wozniacki fought back to advance
Paddy Barnes with Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki (ex-fiancee of Rory McIlroy)

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