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Wimbledon: Caroline Wozniacki looks on bright side despite another early Grand Slam exit

By Matt Gatward

Published 29/06/2016

Net loss: Caroline Wozniacki (right) after yesterday’s defeat against Svetlana Kuznetsova at Wimbledon
Net loss: Caroline Wozniacki (right) after yesterday’s defeat against Svetlana Kuznetsova at Wimbledon

For Caroline Wozniacki, just winning a Grand Slam match these days would be nice.

The former No. 1-ranked player came into Wimbledon unseeded at a major for the first time in eight years and with a world ranking of No. 45, her lowest since 2008.

Faced with a tough first-round draw, the 25-year-old Dane departed quickly after losing to 14th-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova, 7-5, 6-4, leaving her without a Grand Slam match win in 2016.

Wozniacki also fell in the first round at the Australian Open and missed the French Open with a right ankle injury. Her overall record this year is 11-11.

"It's been a tough year in general," Wozniacki said, taking a philosophical tone.

"It's been some injuries. It's been some bad draws. It's been uphill. But you just have to keep fighting, keep going at it, keep working hard, and hope eventually that's going to turn and you're going to take the chances you're going to get.

"That's really all you can do right now," she said.

Wozniacki was ranked No. 1 for 67 weeks in 2010 and 2011 and reached two Grand Slam finals, finishing runner-up at the 2009 and 2014 US Opens.

This was her 10th appearance at Wimbledon, where she has reached the fourth round five times but never made it to the quarter-finals.

Coming off the ankle injury, Wozniacki showed progress at the grass-court warm-up tournament at Eastbourne, winning back-to-back matches.

"I played some really good tennis in Eastbourne," she said. "Obviously I was hoping I could step up from there and do more damage. But it wasn't enough."

Wozniacki played well against Kuznetsova, also a former No. 1. She pushed the Russian but didn't have enough to overcome her in a match played with the retractable roof closed over Centre Court because of rain.

"She played aggressively and stepped up when she had to," Wozniacki said. "She did what she had to do."

For now, Wozniacki is planning to play hard-court tournaments in Washington and Montreal. She's also awaiting a ruling on the appeal on her eligibility for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Wozniacki has been selected as Denmark's flag-bearer for the Games, but has failed to meet the International Tennis Federation's Fed Cup requirements.

"Obviously I want to play," she said.

"But if they decide that I'm not going to play, then there's not much I can do about it."

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